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May 2, 2002

The Honorable Colin Powell 
Secretary of State Department of State 
2201 C Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are writing to urge you to make every effort to ensure that, in coordination with other donor countries and international financial institutions, the expected financing gap for East Timor's recurrent and development budgets over the next three years is met in full with international assistance through grants. As you know, a pledging conference will be held in Dili on May 14 and 15 to fund the estimated $154 to $184 million revenue shortfall via donations. We also urge that the U.S. commit to the most generous donation possible and pledge at least 25% of the total need.

We are aware that the Administration faces many demands on its financial resources. At the same time, we are greatly encouraged by the Administration's commitment to the importance of increased foreign assistance, and particularly by the arguments made by President Bush and Treasury Secretary O'Neill in favor of using grants rather than loans for countries confronting extraordinary development challenges. East Timor represents a rare opportunity to foster debt-free development in a country emerging from conflict and poverty. Grants provided free of restrictive macroeconomic policy conditions will offer East Timor the opportunity to establish a fresh approach to development, one which may also serve as a model for other countries.

As you know, in 1999, before and after the UN-sponsored referendum on independence in East Timor, the people of East Timor suffered terrible devastation at the hands of Indonesian military and paramilitary forces, which also destroyed 75% of the country's infrastructure. Despite that campaign of terror, 98% of registered voters in East Timor risked their lives to cast ballots in the referendum and 78.5% of those voting chose independence from Indonesia. And just this month, with over 86% of eligible voters peacefully participating, the East Timorese people elected long-time independence leader Xanana Gusmao as the country's first president.

The people of East Timor are strongly committed to democracy, and we believe the United States should remain strongly committed to East Timor and the example of perseverance and democracy that is represents. We urge the U.S. government to assure that East Timor joins the community of nations free of debt by leading a broad international package of financial support for the first new nation of the millennium.

We thank you for your attention to this important matter and look forward to your response.

REP. BARNEY FRANK 
REP. NANCY PELOSI 
REP. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN 
REP. TOM LANTOS 
REP. HOWARD L. BERMAN 
REP. GARY L. ACKERMAN 
REP. JOSE E. SERRANO 
REP. CYNTHIA A. MCKINNEY 
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT 
REP. NITA M. LOWEY 
REP. MAURICE HINCHEY 
REP. DAVID WU 
REP. GEORGE MILLER 
REP. DALE E. KILDEE 
REP. JAMES P. MCGOVERN 
REP. LANE EVANS 
REP. WILLIAM J. COYNE 
REP. BARBARA LEE 
REP. PETER A. DEFAZIO 
REP. MARK UDALL 
REP. EDWARD J. MARKEY 
REP. TAMMY BALDWIN 
REP. JAMES L. OBERSTAR 
REP. JAMES MCDERMOTT 
REP. EDOLPHUS TOWNS 
REP. EARL BLUMENAUER 
REP. JULIA CARSON 
REP. CAROLYN B. MALONEY 
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY 
REP. NEIL ABERCROMBIE 
REP. TONY P. HALL 
REP. MAXINE WATERS 
REP. WILLIAM DELAHUNT 
REP. STEPHEN F. LYNCH 
REP. HENRY A. WAXMAN 
REP. JAMES R. LANGEVIN 
REP. ANTHONY WEINER 
REP. PATRICK J. KENNEDY 
REP. ROBERT WEXLER 
REP. BERNARD SANDERS 
REP. MICHAEL R. MCNULTY 
REP. ROBERT E. ANDREWS 
REP. ELIOT L. ENGEL 
REP. DANNY K. DAVIS 
REP. DENNIS J. KUCINICH 
REP. LYNN C. WOOLSEY 
REP. LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER 
REP. BOB FILNER

cc: George W. Bush, President, United States 
Paul H. O'Neill, Secretary of Treasury, United States 
Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, U.S. AID
James D. Wolfensohn, President, World Bank 
Horst Kohler, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

see For a Debt-Free East Timor


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