Subject: SMH: Renew arms embargo, Ramos Horta tells EU

ALSO: Australia protests over incursions

Sydney Morning Herald March 10, 2000

Renew arms embargo, Ramos Horta tells EU

Dili: The East Timorese Nobel laureate Mr Jose Ramos Horta urged the European Union yesterday to reinstate its arms embargo against Indonesia.

During a visit to East Timor by the Irish Prime Minister, Mr Bertie Ahern, Mr Ramos Horta noted that Indonesian-backed militias continued to cross the border from West Timor and had killed East Timorese. The militias had also fired at United Nations peacekeepers.

The EU embargo on the sale of arms to Indonesia was lifted in January after Indonesia relinquished sovereignty over East Timor and ended all military activity in the province.

Mr Ramos Horta said the militias also were responsible for intimidating East Timorese refugees in camps in Indonesian West Timor.

"The Indonesian military have shown to be absolutely dishonest, untrustworthy," he said. "I am urging the EU ... to freeze completely every military co-operation that might still exist, every weapons transaction that might be in the pipeline, to stop."

Mr Ahern said he preferred political pressure on Jakarta to arrest militia thugs and abide by border agreements signed with the UN.

"The best way of dealing with the new arms that the militia clearly have is to give a very strong message to Indonesia to see an end to this," he said.

Mr Ahern is expected in Melbourne today.

Associated Press


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