Subject: Lusa: Alatas to Visit Dili

East Timor: Jakarta's ex-Foreign Minister Alatas visits Dili next week

Dili, Sept. 4 (Lusa) - Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, the man who negotiated East Timor's 1999 independence plebiscite with the United Nations and Portugal, will visit the independent nation for the first time next week.

Alatas is expected in Dili Monday, at the invitation of President Xanana Gusmão, to participate in a foreign affairs seminar.

The visit by Jakarta's elder statesmen, now an advisor to President Megawati Sukarnoputri, is viewed in Dili as a further sign of normalizing relations between East Timor and Indonesia.

Alatas will pay his two-day visit immediately following a Friday-Saturday meeting in Dili of senior delegations from the two countries to discuss bilateral relations and issues outstanding from East Timor's separation from Jakarta.

The talks will be headed by the two countries' foreign ministers, East Timor's José Ramos Horta and Indonesia's Hassan Wirajuda.


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