|Subject: ABC: Downer visit to ETimor/ Evacuation
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 12:08:19 -0400
From: sonny inbaraj <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Tues, July 20, 1999
Downer East Timor visit to outline Australian involvement
Alexander Downer is to become the first Australian Foreign Minister to visit East Timor.
Mr Downer will go to Dili at the end of next week after talks in Jakarta.
Mr Downer says he is going to East Timor at a critical time to demonstrate Australia's constructive role in the United Nations vote.
Officials say steps will be taken to ensure the Foreign Minister's safety and it is yet to be decided if he will travel outside Dili.
One senior diplomat said there could be no question about Australia's neutrality in the vote on autonomy or independence.
Mr Downer is to meet some of the 100 Australians now working with the UN in East Timor plus members of the new Australian consulate in Dili.
In Jakarta, he is to have talks with President Habibie, the Armed Forces chief, General Wiranto, other leaders including Megawati Sukarnoputri and the East Timor resistance head, Xanana Gusmao, who is under house arrest.
Meanwhile, the United Nations mission in Dili has not questioned the authenticity of an internal Indonesian Government document recommending an evacuation plan if the East Timorese choose independence at next month's vote.
The document concedes that Indonesia has failed to win the hearts of the East Timorese and calls for the military to prepare evacuation routes for Indonesian nationals.
United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) spokesman David Wimhurst says the document is only the view of one official.
"This document referred to appears to be the position of an Indonesian, one Indonesian and beyond that I'm really not prepared to say anything," he said.
© 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation