|Subject: AFP: ETimor's president-elect to
Agence France Presse
May 12, 2007
ETimor's president-elect to visit Indonesia
Nelson da Cruz
DILI, May 12 2007
East Timor President-elect Jose Ramos-Horta announced Saturday he will visit neighbouring Indonesia sometime after he officially takes office in efforts to boost ties between the nations.
The Nobel laureate won a landslide presidential election this week to replace charismatic Xanana Gusmao, who worked hard to repair relations with Indonesia which occupied the impoverished state for 24 years.
Ramos-Horta said he had been overwhelmed by messages of congratulations and support from national leaders since his win, and spoke late Friday with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
"Besides offering their congratulations they also invited me to visit their countries and I invited them to Timor Leste," he said, using the country's formal name.
"The conversation with President Susilo was also the opportunity to talk about issues of utmost interest for bilateral relations," he said in a statement. No date was given for the visit.
He said the two leaders discussed the introduction of a new system to smooth the high volume of crossings on their land border to strengthen trade.
Wednesday's election was the first for East Timor since it gained independence in 2002 after a bloody separation from Indonesia three years earlier.
East Timorese are hopeful the decisive victory will help heal deep divisions and restore security in the nation that was plunged into turmoil last year.
Ramos-Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for pushing East Timor's struggle for independence on the world stage, is expected to be inaugurated on May 20, after he steps down as prime minister.
The election result is expected to be declared official on Wednesday.
Ramos-Horta chaired a meeting Saturday of his cabinet as the outgoing premier at government palace in Dili, as reports emerged of unrest linked to the election elsewhere in the troubled state.
Supporters of Ramos-Horta were targeted for arson attacks, with two houses burnt down and six others badly damaged in villages in southern Viqueque district on Friday, the Suara Timor Lorosae newspaper reported.
Three people were arrested over the attacks, but it was unclear if they were militant supporters of the ruling Fretilin party, whose candidate Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres conceded defeat in the election on Friday.
"The situation in Viqueque now is relatively safe. Police personnel are securing sensitive areas from terror and intimidation," Inspector Jose de Carvalho told Suara Timor Lorosae.
The election has been hailed as peaceful and fair by the EU mission in East Timor and other observers, with a high voter turnout.
About 4,000 UN and local police backed by about 1,000 foreign peacekeepers guarded polling stations and are on alert for unrest.
The peacekeepers were deployed to quell last year's violence, sparked after 600 army deserters were dismissed. More than 150,000 people were forced to flee their homes and 37 were killed in resulting firefights between military factions and in gang violence.
East Timor suffered an orgy of killing surrounding its UN-sponsored vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999.
Militia gangs, allegedly directed by Indonesia's military, killed about 1,400 people and laid waste to much of the tiny nation's infrastructure.
E. Timor`s presidential run-off better organized: FM
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said the second round of East Timor`s presidential election was far better organized than the first round.
"The process of the presidential runoff has been more orderly and far better than that of the first round. There were not many conflicts," the foreign minister said after installing echelone I and II officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building here on Friday.
He said the Indonesian government had not received any reports on violence during the second round election.
Jose Ramos Horta was reported to be leading the provisional vote count, and was expected to emerge as tbe winner of the presidential race.
"The other presidential candidate, Francisco Guterres, has also shown a very democratic attitude and said he would accept the result of the election. We need to appreciate this," Wirajuda said.
The second-round presidential election in East Timor which was held on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, was viewed as having proceeded smoothly, peacefully and in a better and more orderly manner.
There were no reports of violations of election rules in various parts of the country.
On the occasion, Wirajuda also hoped Timor Leste`s next government would continue the polices pursued by its predecessor, including that on the Joint Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) set up by the two governments to settle their common residual problems.
"We hope that Timor Leste`s next government, the newly elected president, prime minister and parliament members will continue the polices which were adopted by their predecessors," the foreign minister said.
Wirajuda made the statement at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building after installing a number of echelon I and II officials here on Friday.
He said he hoped the newly elected government would continue the CTF process in order to settle the two countries` historical burden through reconsiliation by building friendship. (*)
RI hoping new government in Timor Leste to continue policies pursued by its predecessor
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said Indonesia was hoping Timor Leste`s new government will continue the policies of its predecessor, including that on the Indonesia-Timor Leste Joint Commission of Truth and Friendship to settle their common residual problems.
"We hope that Timor Leste`s next government, the newly elected president, prime minister and parliament members, will continue the polices which were pursued by their predecessors," Wirajuda said.
The minister made the statement at the Foreign Ministry building after installing a number of echelon I and II officials here on Friday.
He said he hoped the newly elected government would continue the CTF process in order to settle the two countries` historical burden through reconsiliation by building friendship.
Asked about the possibility of a change in Timor Leste`s position on the CTF if Jose Ramos Horta was elected president, the minister said Horta was one of the Timor Leste governemnt officials involved in the CTF`s establishment.
"Don`t forget that Ramos Horta and I were involved since the beginning in initiating the CTF concept. So I hope the CTF will be able to work until the expiry of its tenure," the minister said.
Ramos Horta was reported to be leading the temporary vote count in the second round of Timor Leste`s presidential election in which he was competing with Parliament Speaker Francisco Guterres.
Wirajuda said he had phoned Horta and personally congratulated him for the lead he was having in the provisional vote count. (*)