Subject: Indonesian Gov't to Familiarize Border Area Passes

Also: E TIMOR EAGER TO COOPERATE CULTURALLY WITH E NUSA TENGGARA

GOVT TO FAMILIARIZE RI- E TIMOR BORDER AREA PEOPLE WITH PASSES

November 2, 2003 7:41pm
Antara

Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara, Nov 1 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government plans soon to familiarize residents of areas bordering on East Timor with the use of border passes which will be formally introduced in the second week of December, a local official said here on Saturday.

"Familiarization at provincial level will be started on November 18. This will be followed by familiarization in three districts and 10 subidistricts lying at the border," the head of the local industry and trade service, Supartantyo, said.

The move follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Trade Minister Rini Soewandi on behalf of the Indonesian government and Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta for the East Timor government last June.

The passes will be issued as official documents free of charge by administrative officials of the two countries' border areas for mere traditional and family relationship events or trade at regulated markets.

Eligible for the passes are adults or married people living in areas directly bordering on each other.

The Indonesian districts covered by the regulation are Belu, North Central Timor, the subdistrict of North Amfoang in the district of Kupang, the subdistricts of East Alor, Pantar and Southwest Alor in the district of Alor.

The districts in East Timor included in the regulation are Bobonaro, Kovalima and Oecusse, Supartantyo said.


E TIMOR EAGER TO COOPERATE CULTURALLY WITH E NUSA TENGGARA

November 2, 2003 7:41pm
Antara

Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, Nov 1 (ANTARA) - East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao was quoted as saying he is eager to establish cultural cooperation with Indonesia's Belu and Timor Tengah Utara districts bordering on East Timor as soon as possible.

The East Timorese government was aware of the importance of the two districts' role in maintaining the security and survival of East Timor, an East Timorese social figure, Igildo Pirres, said here on Saturday.

The cultural cooperation could be conducted through a number of activities such as a Timor art festival to be held in the Indonesian districts of Belu and Timor Tengah Utara as well as in the districts of Oecusse, Covalima and Bobonaro in East Timor.

Both sides could also conduct a joint study of Timor culture and set up an East Nusa Tenggara - East Timor cultural study center near the border, if need be, he said.

"Such a cultural cooperation can stem horizontal conflict near the border area. In fact, it will benefit the peoples of the two countries," he said.

Deputy Belu District Chief Bria Yohanes, meanwhile, said President Xanana Gusmao was looking forward to establishing such cultural cooperation soon.

"Cultural cooperation between Indonesia and East Timor could be started from cultural cooperation between those living near the border, namely the people of Belu and Timor Tengah Utara districts and the people of Bobonaro, Oecusse and Covalima districts in East Timor," he said.


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