Subject: RT: Indonesia's Alatas sees East Timor vote on track
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 12:16:35 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Indonesia's Alatas sees East Timor vote on track

SINGAPORE, July 22 (Reuters) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said on Thursday East Timor's independence vote was on track to take place at the end of August.

``We certainly hope so because the situation is good, it is improving continuously...we have occasionally very sporadic occurrences of small incidents, which we immediately overcome,'' he said.

``Things are all in place and I indeed expect that we will have...popular consultation in accordance with the established time frame,'' Alatas said on his arrival in Singapore for Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings.

The United Nations is organising a ballot, expected on August 21 or 22, in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Voters can choose between independence or wide-ranging autonomy within Indonesia, which invaded East Timor in 1975.

Alatas said the issue of East Timor, which has been rocked by violence ahead of the vote, was not on the ASEAN agenda.

``Perhaps in the bilateral talks East Timor will come up but it is not on the agenda. Let us see how it develops,'' he said.

ASEAN groups Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

An ASEAN foreign ministers meeting will be followed by a conference of the ASEAN Regional Forum, which includes ASEAN's dialogue partners and is expected to discuss regional security.

ASEAN members will later hold one-on-one discussions with their dialogue partners, which include the United States, the European Union, China, Russia, India and South Korea.

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