Subject: AP: Portugal Calls For U.N., U.S. Help To Stem E. Timor Violence
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 21:50:02 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo:

February 26, 1999

Dow Jones Newswires

LISBON (AP)--Portugal wants the United Nations to accelerate its plans to establish a permanent presence in East Timor and has asked the United States to help stem spiraling violence in the territory, Foreign Minister Jaime Gama said Friday.

"There should already be a U.N. mission in East Timor," Gama said, adding that he had written to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressing Lisbon's concern about escalating clashes between separatist and pro-Indonesian factions.

Gama said he had also asked U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to help stop the "unacceptable phenomenon" of armed pro-Indonesian militias being set up in the Jakarta-ruled territory.

He did not specify what kind of action he was seeking from Albright.

Portugal has condemned Indonesia for arming pro-integration civilians in East Timor following Jakarta's offer last month to grant the troubled territory independence.

"The situation in East Timor has moved towards great instability because of Indonesia," Gama told reporters in Lisbon.

He said he was "deeply apprehensive" about Indonesia endorsing moves towards autonomy for the half-island territory of 800,000 people while at the same time "fomenting the creation of militias which are out of control and are being manipulated."

Clashes between rival groups in East Timor have escalated in recent weeks, the latest incident resulting in the death of two separatist activists and a soldier on Wednesday.

The U.N. is brokering talks between Lisbon and Jakarta over the future of East Timor, about 2,000 kilometers east of the Indonesian capital.

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