Subject: RT: Xanana, Tavares meet
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 18:31:43 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Thursday March 11, 6:49 am Eastern Time Note: this article has a followup with more information.

Gusmao, militia leader agree to peace in E.Timor

JAKARTA, March 11 (Reuters) - East Timor guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao and the leader of pro-Indonesia militias in the troubled territory said on Thursday they had agreed to peaceful discussion of its future.

``This is the first meeting and we have committed to peace,'' Gusmao said at a joint news conference with Joao Da Silva Tavares.

(Note: this article is ``in progress''; there will likely be an update soon.)

Thursday March 11, 7:02 am Eastern Time Timor-peace Jakarta

Gusmao declined to give details of what had been discussed in their meeting. However, Tavares said that he had presented Gusmao with a peace proposal for East Timor, which the jailed guerrilla leader was going to read.

``We have been enemies for 23 years but from today, after the discussion, we have agreed to put down our weapons,'' said Tavares.

Their meeting took place at a government building in central Jakarta and lasted about one and a half hours.

Gusmao was jailed in 1992 following his capture by Indonesian forces, but is now under house arrest in Jakarta. The house where he is staying has been officially designated a branch of Cipinang prison where he was formerly held.

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