Subject: AN: TNI Regrets ET Pretext for Extending UN Presence

TNI CHIEF REGRETS E TIMOR'S PRETEXT FOR EXTENDING UN'S PRESENCE

May 6, 2004 1:57am Antara

Jakarta, May 5 (ANTARA) - Indonesian military (TNI) commander Gen Endriartono Sutarto said here Wednesday there were indications East Timor had used allegations about Indonesia being threat as a pretext to extend the United Nations' presence in that country.

"I regret this. The East Timor government should actually be able to uphold the values of friendship with the Indonesian government and nation as we are neighbours," Endriartono said in response to a reporter's question at a press conference at the TNI headquarters.

"If they wish to seek a continued UN presence in their country they should not do so by discrediting a neighbour," he said.

He said ever since East Timor gained independence, Indonesia had been paying a lot of attention to East Timor as an a new neighbor.

"Maintaining good relations with all neighbouring countries including Australia, Singapore and Brunei is the best for Indonesia," he said, adding forging good relations with neighbors will always pay off.

"I can guarantee there will be no flow of militia or weapons from Indonesia to East Timor. Indonesia has no desire to reclaim East Timor. East Timor is now an independent country and we respect it," he said.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)


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