Subject: LUSA: Gusmao Best Choice for President, Indonesian Commander Says

31 Oct 01 14:40 East Timor: Gusmao Best Choice for President, Indonesian Commander Says

Independence leader Xanana Gusmao is the ideal choice to serve as East Timor´s first president, the Indonesian military commander of neighboring West Timor was quoted as saying Wednesday.

Indonesia´s Antara news agency reported Major General Willem da Costa as praising Gusmao for having demonstrated leadership ability and for seeking strong ties with Jakarta.

"If my opinion were sought, I would say that Xanana Gusmao is the best person to occupy the place of president in East Timor", Antara cited Maj. Gen. da Costa as saying.

Gusmao, who long resisted local and international pressure to become a candidate, recently announced he would stand for president in elections yet to be scheduled.

Da Costa has received recent applause in Dili for his efforts to ease border tensions and facilitate the repatriation of East Timorese refugees.

SAS -Lusa-

© 1997 Lusa Comentários e Sugestões para Agência Lusa


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