Subject: JP: Susilo Meets Xanana, Conclude Border Issue

Also: RT: Indonesia, E.Timor leaders sing, leave past behind

The Jakarta Post Wednesday, December 14, 2004

Susilo Meets Xanana, Conclude Border Issue

Wahyoe Boedhiwardana and Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar/Medan

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao at the Tampak Siring Palace in Denpasar, Bali, on Tuesday to discuss common issues, including the border between the two countries.

Briefing the press after the three-hour dinner meeting, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda said the two leaders reached an agreement on the border issue.

"We will sign a land border agreement early next year, beginning with a sea demarcation ...," Hassan said.

He said Susilo and Xanana also agreed on the importance of open communications to address any problems that might arise between Indonesia and Timor Leste.

"We have reviewed our bilateral relations over the past three years and agreed to expand and deepen the dialog (between the two countries)," Hassan said.

The meeting between the two men was the first since Susilo took the oath of office on Oct. 20.

Susilo was accompanied at the meeting by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, while Xanana was accompanied by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

The informal meeting was held two weeks after Timor Leste deported hundreds of Indonesians who were in the country without the necessary documents.

"The issue (of the deportation) will be discussed by ministers since the two leaders did not specifically touch on the issue," Hassan said.

Timor Leste, Indonesia's former province, voted for independence in a United Nations-sponsored referendum in 1999.

Xanana's visit is part of an overseas trip that also brought him to Japan.

During the dinner, the two leaders agreed to accommodate traditional border crossings between the countries and to open land routes East Nusa Tenggara to the Timor Leste capital Dili.

Meanwhile, dozens of Indonesians deported from Timor Leste plan to bring their case to the International Court of Justice, saying they were illegally expelled from the country.

They said they had lived in Timor Leste their entire lives and had been forced to abandon assets when they were exported from the country.

"We will sue the East Timor government for deporting us. It was unjust treatment and should be brought to the International Court of Justice," Arham Appe told The Jakarta Post in Tanjung Pura, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.

North Sumatra accepted some 245 people who were deported from Timor Leste following the enactment of a citizenships law that requires people to have lived in the country for more than 10 years before obtaining citizenship.

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Indonesia, E.Timor leaders sing, leave past behind 15 Dec 2004 02:51:16 GMT

JAKARTA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's president and the leader of East Timor agreed to forget past bloodshed and focus on economic cooperation and border issues during a dinner meeting punctuated by an exchange of songs, officials said on Wednesday.

Ex-general Suslio Bambang Yudhoyono and his East Timorese counterpart Xanana Gusmao, a former guerrilla leader who fought against Indonesian rule, held talks on the island of Bali on Tuesday night, said Andi Mallarangeng, Yudhoyono's spokesman.

A vote by Timorese in 1999 to break free from Jakarta's brutal 24-year rule triggered a rampage by gangs supported by elements in the Indonesian army. The U.N. estimates about 1,000 people were killed in violence surrounding the vote.

Mainly Catholic East Timor became formally independent in 2002 and has sought to build good ties with Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

"They want to look forward. Now the situation has changed. They are friends in neighbouring countries," said Mallarangeng.

It was their first meeting since Yudhoyono took office in October.

Mallarangeng said the two leaders asked ministers to finalise demarcation of the land border between the half-island nation and Indonesian West Timor. It was almost complete, he added.

East Timor's recent deportation to Indonesia of 250 Muslims who originated from Indonesia was touched on but not discussed in detail, Mallarangeng said. The Muslims had lived in East Timor before 1999 but did not have proper identity papers.

The dinner was friendly, with Yudhoyono singing a 1970s pop song, Mallarangeng said. East Timor's Internal Affairs Minister Rogerio Lobato sang a traditional Timorese song. Indonesia's military chief also sang.

Yudhoyono served in East Timor, while Gusmao led the resistance to Indonesian rule until his capture in the early 1990s. He spent seven years in a Jakarta jail.


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