Subject: LUSA: Habibie Accepts Gusmao Proposal to Form Peace Commission
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 08:55:13 -0500
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <pet@web.net>

12 FEV 99 - 20:44 East Timor: Habibie Accepts Gusmao Proposal to Form Peace Commission

Jakarta, Feb. 12 (Lusa) - Indonesian President B.J. Habibie has accepted a proposal by jailed East Timor resistance leader Xanana Gusmao to form a peace commission for the territory. The secretary-general of Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, told Lusa Friday that Habibie had immediately accepted Gusmao's written proposal and would ask the Indonesian government to provide financial support for the initiative. The aim of the new body will be to maintain peace and encourage reconciliation and unity among all Timorese, Amaral said. The half-island of East Timor was invaded and occupied by Indonesia in 1975. In January Jakarta annouced that it was prepared to withdraw from the territory if the East Timorese reject a proposal for enhanced autonomy within Indonesia. On Thursday Habibie declared that he hoped to see the problem of East Timor resolved by Jan. 1, 2000 and that his government would recommend independence as a solution.

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