Subject: LUSA: Gusmao, Ramos Horta Meet Kissinger in New York

18 May 01 21:30 East Timor: Gusmao, Ramos Horta Meet Kissinger in New York

Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta met Friday in New York with Henry Kissinger, who was the US secretary of state when Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975.

A diplomatic source told Lusa that the "historic meeting" took place after the two visiting East Timorese leaders spoke at the United Nations. A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for October, but this time in the presence of Indonesian diplomats and the foreign press, the source added.

Kissinger is nowadays an advisor to the current Indonesian president. He and the then American president, Gerald Ford, visited Indonesia on Dec. 6, 1975, less than a day before Indonesia mounted a massive invasion of the half-island territory. Their visit has long been seen as a sign that the US approved the operation.

The 24-year Indonesian occupation of East Timor ended in 1999. The territory has since been governed by a UN transition administration charged with overseeing the transition to independent statehood.

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