|Subject: AP: E. Timor Min Confident
Indonesia Will Crack Down On Terror
Received from Joyo Indonesian News
E Timor Min Confident Indonesia Will Crack Down On Terror
SINGAPORE, Jan. 25 (AP) -- East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize-winning foreign minister said Friday he was confident Indonesia would be able to crack down on suspected members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.
Jose Ramos-Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in East Timor's bloody struggle for independence from Indonesia, said radical Muslims operating in Indonesia could destabilize the region.
"It is not in Indonesia's interest in any shape or form to have these extremists, radical, Muslim fanatics operating in Indonesia," Ramos-Horta told The Associated Press.
"Indonesia always knew how to fight unwanted elements," he said. "When they decide to do so, I know no al-Qaida will survive in Indonesia."
Indonesia was brutal in its struggle to keep East Timor, which voted to split away in 1999 after a 24-year military occupation. Up to 200,000 people - a quarter of East Timor's population - died in the guerrilla war.
Ramos-Horta met Friday with his Singaporean counterpart, Shanmugam Jayakumar.
While Singapore and Malaysia have arrested dozens of people for allegedly plotting to blow up U.S. embassies and businesses in the region, Indonesia has been accused of dragging its feet.
U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has said the Bush administration wanted to resume military assistance to Jakarta but was restricted by a congressional ban imposed after the Indonesian army devastated East Timor in 1999.
Ramos-Horta said he believed the Indonesian army needed "more sophisticated counterintelligence training" but not more U.S. military assistance.
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