Subject: USGOV transcript: Assistant Secy Hill on Truth and Friends
from state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/2008/04/102967.htm Indonesia - East Timor section (the rest deals with Korea) from
Interview With the Associated Press
Christopher R. Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
April 4, 2008
QUESTION: Perhaps, if you donít mind, we can talk not about Korea first of all but Indonesia and East Timor. Theyíre moving to sort out the issues surrounding the 1999 Truth and Friendship Commission. How does the U.S. see that?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: First of all, I think itís a very positive development that they are going to forward with this Truth and Friendship Commission. This is the way to go. I think both sides are ready to make progress on this. So I find it very encouraging, and we really look forward to the results.
QUESTION: Would that be the end of the issue, if that report is accepted by both countries?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: No, well you know, I think itís important. I mean, what we want to see is this reconciliation between Indonesia and East Timor. I think if itís good enough for East Timor and Indonesia, it should be good enough for us.
QUESTION: So, itís not a concern of the UN or other country is not their business anymore?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, again, I donít want to put in those stark terms. But I think what everybody is engaged here, everyone has been hoping is there can be this reconciliation Ė because, you know, if you look at East Timorís future, it needs that future needs to include a good relationship with Indonesia. And I think this the way to go. I read some articles about it recently in Jakarta Post -- there was an editorial about, I think itís yesterday in the Jakarta Post -- and I am kind of encouraged with the direction itís going.
QUESTION: Would it be pressing East Timor (inaudible) to really try and punish the people involved both in the 2006 violence and in the attack on Ramos Horta?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, again, itís not the rule to tell them how their justice system works. So my first issue here is to find out from them how they assess the situation, what exactly happened, what is the significance of it, what is the meaning of it, and how theyíre handling it. So, again, I donít think itís a question of me going there and waging my finger and telling them what to do. I am trying to figure out what is going on and get the sense of how theyíre handling it.
QUESTION: Are you satisfied that the 2006 violence was investigated well enough?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, you know, that 2006 violence caused a lot of concerns about how East Timor is doing and, particularly, how the police force was being handled. I would love to see from the East Timor authorities how they see situation. Again, the nature of a trip like this is not to go and presume that I know more whatís going on in Dili than the people who live in Dili. What Iím trying to do is understand it and understand, get the sense of whether they are coping with that, because -- when you look at the problems that East Timor faces, the problems they face in term of their economy, in term of their political development -- they have a lot to get done in the future.
QUESTION: So, just back to the first question. Would the United States ever support some form of international tribunal for military officers accused of violence in 1999 or even before that?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY HILL: Well, my sense is that there is a process thatís going forward and a process that enjoyed a lot of support, and I think we would like to add our voice to that support.