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Subject: LUSA: JRH says ET will be independent within 3 years
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 07:47:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <pet@web.net>

05 AGO 98 - 11:38 East Timor/Portugal: Occupied territory will be an independent country within three years, says Nobel Peace Prize co-laureat Ramos Horta

Lisbon, 05 Aug (Lusa) - Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Ramos Horta said in Lisbon on Tuesday he expected his occupied homeland to gain independence from Indonesia within three years. Ramos Horta made the statement in an interview with the French daily "Le Monde". The vice-president of the National Timorese Resistance Council said he had also right when forecasting three years ago that Suharto would fall in 1998. "I am now sure that within one year or two years, no more than three years, East Timor will recover its freedom", Ramos Horta said.

The resistance leader also said the Indonesian government's proposal to grant "special autonomy" to East Timor and to launch a gradual withdrawal of troops from the occupied territory was "unacceptable" because it was based on Jakarta's position that East Timor was an integral part of Indonesia. However, Ramos Horta said if Jakarta would renounce its annexation of East Timor, he would be prepared to "freeze" the demands for a referendum on self-determination for five years.

Ramos Horta also said the resistance movement continued to demand a "real" Indonesian troop withdrawal from East Timor, the deployment of a UN peace-keeping force in the territory and the release of all political prisoners.

Lusa/Fim

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