Subject: East Timor: Gusmao Downplays US Complicity in Indonesian Invasion

East Timor: Gusmao Downplays US Complicity in Indonesian Invasion 7 Dez-13:00

East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao Friday downplayed the impact of newly released US documents showing that Washington had been informed of and approved Indonesia´s invasion of his homeland in 1975.

"East Timor, in the situation it faces, must be engaged in looking towards the future, not to the past", Gusmao said, when questioned by reporters on US complicity, on his arrival in Lisbon for a private visit. 

He said Washington had played "an important role" recently in East Timor´s 1999 independence plebiscite and transition from Indonesian occupation. 

Asked whether the US should formally apologize for its complicity in the invasion and 24-year Indonesian occupation, the former guerrilla leader said that what East Timor now needed was "aid from the international community".

"We are not here to ask for apologies from each other", he added. Gusmao, who is on his way to an international donors conference in Oslo Tuesday, will participate in Lisbon later Friday in a commemorative Catholic mass marking the 26th anniversary of the invasion.

SAS -Lusa-

see also ETAN Kissinger Page

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