Subject: Ramos Horta Announces Return To Dili

Timorese resistance leader announces return to Dili

LISBON, Nov 10 (AFP) - East Timorese resistance leader Jose Ramos Horta announced plans Wednesday to end 24 years of exile and return to Dili on December 1.

Ramos Horta, who left East Timor when the Indonesian military invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975, made the comment after meeting the newly-appointed UN administrator for East Timor, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Fellow pro-independence leader Xanana Gusmao returned to East Timor on October 21.

Gusmao, tipped to be the first president of an independent East Timor, was released from seven years' detention by Indonesian authorities in September after East Timorese voted massively for independence.

Gusmao and Ramos Horta lead the National Council for East Timorese Resistance (CNRT), which expects to play a role in the interim administration under UN authority leading to independence.

Ramos Horta, a joint winner of the 1996 Nobel peace prize, said meanwhile that Jakarta would be among the first diplomatic missions opened by the East Timorese.

Initially, the mission would be a CNRT office headed by a veteran of the anti-Jakarta resistance but would evolve into a proper embassy for an independent East Timor, he indicated.

Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1976 in a move never officialy recognized by the international community. Following the August 30 vote, a UN transitional authority (UNTAET) was created to run East Timor up to independence.

Ramos Horta said he would like to see Thailand play a central role in UNTAET because it has shown it knows how to defend human rights.

He ruled out Malaysia because it had sided with Indonesia in the run-up to the independence referendum.

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