Subject: XG and SBY to meet over border clashes
East Timor: President Gusmão concerned at border incidents
Dili, Oct. 25 (Lusa) - President Xanana Gusmão is worried at incursions into East Timor and border alterations by Indonesian security forces, but hopes that Jakarta is eradicating possible sources of tension in frontier areas, an official source said Tuesday.
In comments to Lusa, the source in the Timorese presidency said the most recent border incident took place about a month ago near Batugada in the district if Bobonaro, along the northern border with Indonesian West Timor.
This incident, involving an incursion by an Indonesian military patrol to about 400 meters into Timorese territory, was discussed Monday by Gusmão with Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Dili's defense and interior ministers and police and military commanders.
The Indonesian troops then placed border marker posts in Timorese territory, the same Dili source said.
The borders in question were agreed between Dili and Jakarta in a provisional accord signed April during the Timor visit of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
President Gusmão has already summoned Indonesia's ambassador in Dili, Ahmed Bey who fully understands Timor's concerns over this matter, added the source.
Lusa has learnt that Ambassador Bey plans to visit the border area in question to brief local Indonesian officials on the frontier delineated earlier this year by both governments.
Dili has also expressed its concern in recent weeks over violent incidents and incursions centered on smuggling activity by members of former anti-independence militiamen into its Oecussi enclave in West Timor.
Various official Dili sources have told Lusa that the Timorse government believes the Oecussi border problems have already been overcome.
Meanwhile, Dili diplomatic sources said President Gusmão will use his upcoming trip to Jakarta to discuss all recent border incidents.
The Timorese leaders' trip is being made "in the spirit of bilateral reconciliation" and he will pay a visit to Jakarta's once- notorious Cipinang Jail, where he was imprisoned for several years during the Indonesian occupation of Timor.
EAST Timor President Xanana Gusmao will meet his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to discuss a spate of violent border clashes.
The meeting was announced this week by East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri in a briefing to local reporters in Dili.
Dr Alkatiri reportedly suggested his country could pull out of the Truth and Friendship Commission with Indonesia if violence persisted along the border with the troubled northwest enclave of Oecussi.
Dissolving the commission was one option if the clashes continued to disrupt two-party talks aimed at settling a crucial border demarcation for the enclave, Dr Alkatiri reportedly said.
"The two countries are trying to maintain their friendship. However, people are still provoking them, showing that there is no longer any intent to continue the friendship," the Suara Timor Lorosae (Voice of East Timor) newspaper quoted Dr Alkatiri as saying.
Dr Alkatiri said the presidents of East Timor and Indonesia would meet soon to discuss recent tensions around the enclave - a province of East Timor bounded by Indonesian West Timor - the legacy of a complicated deal between former colonial powers Portugal and Holland.
In the most serious clash, on October 15, two East Timorese border police were injured in an attack by 200 Indonesian villagers armed with stones and improvised weapons.
Last week, East Timor's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, denied that a spate of border clashes around the enclave were linked to former pro-Indonesian militia, directly contradicting East Timor's national security chief, Ricardo Ribeiro, and his own complaints to the UN mission in Dili.
A UN diplomatic cable obtained by The Australian cited a furious Mr Horta blaming the violence on former anti-independence militia and Indonesian troops.
The 10-member Truth and Friendship Commission is a key policy platform in attempts to mend relations between East Timor and Indonesia following the bloody 1999 UN-brokered ballot for independence.
The commission commits the two countries to work together to investigate events leading up to and immediately after the historic ballot.
It does not provide guarantees of legal justice for thousands of Timorese victims of army-backed militia violence, and is strongly opposed by East Timor's influential Catholic Church.
East Timor Convinced it Can Solve Reconciliation Matter
Thursday, 27 October, 2005 | 22:28 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:East Timor is convinced that Indonesia and East Timor will be able to solve the reconciliation matter.
Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesman Col. Ahmad Yani Basuki made this statement after receiving East Timorese Ambassador for Indonesia Arlindo Maecal at TNI headquarters (HQ) in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Wednesday (26/10).
"East Timorese Ambassador for Indonesia was convinced that the Indonesian and East Timorese governments would solve the reconciliation matter despite opposition from several people," stated Basuki.
According to Basuki, the East Timorese government is convinced that the reconciliation is the best solution to past problems in order to build a partnership between the two countries.
For both parties, the challenge of the future is more important than temporary problems. However, East Timor is committed to settling the current problems.
The visit of Maecal, accompanied by East Timorese councilor Roberto S. de Oliveira, was not aimed at discussing the problem of borders between Indonesia and East Timor nor the problem of the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation.
However, both parties agreed to exchange information on the current problems between the two countries. "There is an agreement between Indonesia and East Timor to exchange information in order to come to an understanding on existing problems," stated Basuki. (Fanny Febiana-Tempo News Room)