Subject: DJ: Australian Govt To Open Diplomatic Office In East Timor
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:34:38 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

May 11, 1999

Australian Govt To Open Diplomatic Office In East Timor

Dow Jones Newswires

CANBERRA -- The Australian government will open a consulate-general office in East Timor in order to monitor the changes occurring in the Indonesian province.

AusAID, the government's aid body, will also open an office in Dili, according to an Australian government statement Tuesday.

The move follows the signing May 5 of an agreement by Indonesia, the United Nations and Portugal, the former colonial power in East Timor, clearing the way for a vote on autonomy in the province.

The Australian government will provide A$26.8 million over four years to set up operations in East Timor, according to the new Australian budget for the year ending June 30, 2000.

Australia, a close neighbor of Indonesia, could be involved in the future in an "administrative" role in East Timor's transition, the government noted.

The AusAID office will provide "substantial assistance" to an autonomous or independent East Timor, the government said. It hasn't yet decided on the level of the aid.

Australia is the largest bilateral donor to East Timor, providing A$7 million in 1998-99, the government said. It has also pledged A$20 million to the U.N. consultation process planned for August 1999 to help with the transition.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will also establish a policy liaison office in Lisbon to maintain a dialogue with Portugal as the transition is carried out.

Australia's total overseas development aid for 1999-00 will be A$1.5 billion, a A$22 million increase from 1998-99, maintaining the level of aid in real terms, the government said.

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