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Subject: UN: 'positive atmosphere' for talks
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 08:39:00 -0400

[Excerpt]

3 August 1998 Press Briefing

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OF OFFICE OF SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL

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When asked how optimistic the Organization was about the talks on East Timor producing some kind of breakthrough, Mr. Brandt said it was his understanding that there was a certain positive atmosphere on the eve of the talks that he had referred to earlier. Ambassador Marker recently had an interesting and very productive visit to the area. That gave him a very unique understanding of the situation at the present time prior to the meeting. The Secretary-General had talks as recently as last week with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Guterres, and had also talked with Indonesia, the other side. There seemed to be, as opposed to the last time when such talks happened, a better environment for the meeting. It would be very imprudent for him to say any more, Mr. Brandt added, but it seemed that it was going to be a good beginning. The Secretary-General wanted to get together with the two Foreign Ministers tonight and, hopefully, that would help ease them into a good and productive session.

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