Subject: UN: West Timor leaders voice support for return of East Timor

UN Department of Public Information (DPI) Date: 19 Jan 2001

West Timor leaders voice support for return of East Timor refugees: UN mission

Indonesian Government officials in the province of West Timor have expressed support for the repatriation of East Timorese refugees living in camps in their territory, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) said today in Dili.

In a statement to the press, UNTAET said a meeting had been held yesterday and today between the UN Mission and Indonesian officials, including West Timor Governor Piet Tallo, Udayana Commander Williem da Costa and Yusuf Basyiruddin, the Head of an Indonesia-based refugee organization (Task Force for the Settlement of the East Timorese Refugee Issue in East Nusa Tenggara).

During their meetings, which were held in Kupang, the Indonesian officials expressed "strong support for the speedy return" of the refugees, UNTAET said.

In another development, a group of 80 East Timorese left Kupang by boat today for another "come-and-see" visit to East Timor. The trip was organized by UNTAET, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Meanwhile in Dili, tripartite consultations between UNTAET, workers and employers are scheduled to begin on 22 January on labour regulations covering employment termination and administration, minimum wage fixing, labour relations, vocational and traineeship, and occupational safety and health.

The draft regulations from the consultations will be submitted to the Cabinet Member for Social Affairs, Father Filomeno Jacob, on 26 January.

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