Subject: JP: Govt. seeks ambassador candidates for East Timor

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

The Jakarta Post [online] February 7, 2003

Govt. seeks ambassador candidates for East Timor

JAKARTA (JP): The government is seeking candidates for the position of Indonesian ambassador to East Timor, Foreign Ministry Hassan Wirajuda said on Friday.

"Hopefully, we can find a candidate this year," he said after accompanying President Megawati Soekarnoputri when she received the credentials of East Timor Ambassador to Indonesia Arlino Marcal.

Indonesia has yet to open an embassy in the former province of the country. Thus far, Indonesia has had a representative office in East Timor.

He denied that the government did not consider East Timor important despite the fact that Indonesia had yet to appoint an ambassador to the tiny country.

"It's a matter of status, and the government must consult with the House of Representatives about it," Hassan said.

East Timor separated from the country following the vote of independence in 1999.

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