Subject: Alwi, de Mello meet over E. Timor issues

Also: Lusa- UNTAET Chief Leaves Indonesian Leaders with 'Much Homework' \ Jakarta Post May 30, 2000

Alwi, de Mello meet over E. Timor issues

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Foreign Affairs Alwi Shihab met on Tuesday with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) head Sergio Vieiera de Mello to discuss remaining issues concerning the former Indonesian province.

In a half-hour meeting here, the two officials discussed the economic and security condition, scholarships for East Timor students, pensions for former Indonesian civil servants and road links between the two countries.

Alwi told reporters after the meeting that Indonesia had requested the help of the international community to provide funds for pensions and scholarships as Indonesia still had a large domestic financial burden.

"For the pensions, we will set up a small team to calculate the amount and then we will ask the international community for help," Alwi said, adding that according to domestic regulations, Indonesia could not pay pension for noncitizens.

He added that Indonesia had provided scholarships for 162 East Timorese students, while there were about 1,000 East Timorese students wanting to continue their studies here.

"For the rest of the students, we will ask the Japanese government for help," Alwi remarked.

De Mello pointed out that the security condition on the border was improving and that UNTAET had a strong relationship with the Indonesian Military.

"We hope the improvement is durable and incidents will decrease in the future," de Mello said. (dja)

East Timor: UNTAET Chief Leaves Indonesian Leaders with 'Much Homework' 30 May-10:47

East Timor's United Nations transition administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, began a series of meetings with Indonesian leaders on bilateral issues Tuesday in Jakarta in talks with Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab. Vieira de Mello was also to meet with President Abdurrahman Wahid. "I have been left with much homework," Shihab told Lusa after his 40-minute encounter with the UNTAET chief. "The meeting was useful and we discussed several worrying issues about pensions for former (Indonesian) civil servants, borders, and the movement of goods to East Timor", he said. "Rapid solutions" should be found "to facilitate bilateral relations and "the spirit of cooperation". Indonesia, Shihab added, wished to resolve the question of creating a land corridor through West Timor to link East Timor to its enclave of Oe Cusse "as quickly as possible." Before departing Dili for Jakarta, Vieira de Mello told Lusa that maintaining "regular meetings" with Indonesian leaders was "a good investment to avoid misunderstandings and consolidate bilateral relations."

SAS -Lusa-

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