Subject: USGOV: Q&A of Sec'y Albright by Sen Feingold
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:43:29 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

HEARING OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE SUBJECT: FY 2000 FOREIGN OPERATIONS BUDGET CHAIRED BY: SENATOR JESSE HELMS (R-NC) WITNESS: U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT 419 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING

February 24, 1999

SEN. RUSSELL FEINGOLD (D-WI): ... The other situation I'd like to ask you about is another occasion for cautious optimism. And that would be East Timor. Many of us on this committee and in this Senate have for years advocated for the rights of the people of East Timor. And there are some hopeful signs. I am encouraged that the government of Indonesia has seen fit to move Xanana Gusmao from prison to house arrest which I interpret as a gesture of good will.

But the situation is very complex and there's violence on the island. You (did ?) mention that you're going to Asia next week. I urge you to continue your efforts to call for the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of troops from East Timor in order to help during this transition period. And the question I'd like to ask you is what you see happening with regard to the United Nations role during a transition period. It will probably be crucial to have an international presence in East Timor during such a period of transition to whatever form of self- determination may occur. Would the United States support a monitoring or peacekeeping operation in East Timor?

SEC. ALBRIGHT: ... Indonesia I have to tell you is another one of the countries that I have targeted for trying to move it over the line. They are going to have elections. They have undertaken some significant reforms -- not enough, but they have. And I'm going to be going to Indonesia on this trip, after I've been to China. The East Timor developments are truly fascinating and I think are very hopeful. We are supporting the U.N. action there and the U.N. Special Representative there is looking at a variety of ways for us to be able to help move that forward. I will be discussing the issue actually today again with Secretary-General Kofi Annan. And I think we need to figure out what the most supportive thing is that the United States can do.

There have been discussions about an international or a U.N. presence. I don't think they've gelled yet. But we clearly do see what's happening there as an opportunity to deal with one of the most troublesome issues that's been out there for all of us.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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