|Subject: UN ON EAST TIMOR
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 20:44:15 -0000
From: "Paula Pinto" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY FRED ECKHARD, SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY GENERAL UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Wednesday, 27 January 1999
The Secretary-General, in a statement, welcomed the reports of two major announcements made in Jakarta with regard to the situation in East Timor.
1.The prospect of transferring the imprisoned leader of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, Xanana Gusmao, to residential detention. 2.The reported willingness of the Indonesian Government to countenance the possibility of independence for East Timor if this were the wish of the people of the territory.
The statement said the United Nations was in the process of ascertaining the details of these reports.
The Secretary-General had for some time now been urging the Indonesian Government to release Xanana Gusmao, whose role in the political process is of paramount importance. The Secretary-General hopes that it will soon be possible for Xanana Gusmao to actively participate in the political dialogue.
The tripartite talks, which will resume tomorrow, will continue to discuss the UN autonomy proposal.
The Secretary-General again underlined the need for maintaining peace and avoiding unnecessary violence and bloodshed in East Timor. He urged all parties concerned to show maximum restraint and political wisdom in dealing with this important period of transition.
In response to a question at the briefing, the spokesman informed the reporter afterwards that the United Nations had not been alerted in advance of today's announcement. ###