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Subject: Conclusions of the EU Troika Mission to East Timor
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 23:46:46 +0100 (BST)

The following document was released to Parliament by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today. 23 July 1998


The Conclusions of the EU Heads of Mission Troika visit to East Timor have been published by the European Union. The release of the conclusions was announced in a parliamentary question today.

Welcoming the publication, Minister of State Derek Fatchett said:

'The report underlines the urgency of finding a solution to the problem of East Timor. It suggests a number of ideas for taking forward the process of dialogue.'



The Process of Engagement

The rapidly changing situation in East Timor, as witnessed by the EU-HOM-Troika, lends a new urgency and even greater importance to the Tripartite talks under UN auspices and to the necessity of direct contact between the Indonesian Government and Xanana Gusmao.

The people of East Timor themselves need to be able to contribute to the dialogue concerning their future. At present they have no way of doing so apart from on the streets. This leads to frustration and is potentially dangerous. One possibility is to hold more frequent meetings of the All-Inclusive Intra Timorese Dialogue, with an expanded membership and a mandate to include debate on East Timor's political future. Xanana Gusmao has confirmed that he would support this.

Other measures also need to be taken to facilitate dialogue within East Timor itself. Attempts have been made, but so far without success. As representatives from both sides made clear to us, to be successful, international support and mediation, in conjunction with the Church, may well be necessary.

There needs to be a better understanding of the issues involved. Autonomy, for example, is not receiving a fair hearing. Discussion within the United Nations framework might seek ways of promoting this better understanding.

Possible Confidence-Building Measures

Implementation of the reduction already proposed by the Indonesian Government of its military presence in East Timor should be started immediately and in a visible way. In particular, withdrawal of Kopassus (Special Forces) troops should be a top priority. This should be accompanied by the disbandment and disarmament of local paramilitary organisations.

Steps have been taken recently to make the military more accountable for actions which contravene human rights. This should now become normal procedure.

Investigations into incidents that result in deaths should, where possible, be undertaken jointly with an impartial body such as the Church or the Justice and Peace Commission, and their conclusions published quickly.

There should be a declaration of a cease-fire by Falintil, with a simultaneous corresponding action by the Indonesian armed forces. The military campaign would then be seen to be at an end.

There should be further releases of political prisoners. Xanana Gusmao should also be released.

Many interlocutors suggested that Portugal should now deepen its involvement in the process, in particular by opening an Interests Section in Jakarta, as proposed by the UN secretary-general's Special Representative Marker. This has the support of Xanana Gusmao. The restoration of visa rights between Indonesia and Portugal, and the exchange of high-level visits, would also be welcome.

The full implementation of the 1998 UN Commission on Human Rights Chairman's Statement on East Timor would be a significant contribution to the restoration of confidence.

International Involvement

On the basis of our findings, we believe that, in addition to its present involvement, the international community may soon be required to assist with the process of political change, the facilitation of dialogue and the maintenance of stability in East Timor.

Final Assessment

It is our impression that there will be no lasting solution in East Timor without a firm commitment to some form of direct consultation, at some stage in the future, of the will of the people there. Such consultation could be on the issue of independence or on the basis of a negotiated settlement, or via a genuinely representative electoral process. And there is an urgent need to promote immediate dialogue involving East Timorese leaders, for flexibility from all sides in the negotiations and for the implementation of confidence-building measures.

Robin Christopher, British ambasssador in Jakarta (Presidency) Viktor Segalla, Austrian ambassador Paul Brouwer, Netherlands ambassador (representing Luxembourg) Klauspeter Schmallenbach, European Commission Representative

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