Subject: Ramos-Horta to Make First Official Visit to Jakarta

The Jakarta Post

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Ramos-Horta to make Jakarta first official visit

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Border control, friendship, truth and education are all set to be tabled in a meeting next Tuesday with Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta.

Ramos-Horta is due to make his first official international trip after being elected President in a landslide victory last month and his office has said the inaugural three-day trip indicates Indonesia is one of his top priorities.

Ramos-Horta, who was sworn as president on May 20, said his visit to Indonesia showed the importance of good bilateral relations for both countries.

"There are important issues I will follow up with my friend President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, particularly to enhance cooperation in the education sector.

"Other important discussions during the bilateral meeting will touch on issues such as the land border and the update of work by the Commission of Truth and Friendship," Ramos-Horta said in a statement.

The truth commission's task is to research "incidents" that occurred before and after the UN-organized referendum that provided Timor Leste independence from Indonesia in 1999.

A press release from Timor Leste presidential office said Ramos-Horta would meet with President Yudhoyono on Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal confirmed Friday Ramos-Horta would arrive in Jakarta on Monday.

"This is his first visit abroad after being elected as president," Dino told The Jakarta Post.

"That shows how important Indonesia is for Timor Leste."

Ramos-Horta said in an earlier interview with the Post he wanted to see Timor Leste children receive an education that was affordable and of a high standard.

He said Indonesia would be a place for them to seek higher education and that all problems in visa and permit application should be removed.

During his election campaign, Ramos-Horta said he would give the Indonesian language a special status.

Indonesian language is currently used by more than 90 percent of Timor Leste people.

Ramos-Horta also vowed to settle remaining border problems with Indonesia as soon as possible.

The Presidential delegation will consist of the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Magno, Vice-Minister of Education Victor da Costa, Timor Leste Ambassador to Indonesia Egidio de Jesus Amaral and Chief of Staff of the Office of the President Agio Pereira.

Timor Leste is dependent on Indonesia for food and other essential items and is badly in need of foreign investment to launch development programs.

Ramos-Horta would also try to woo potential investors from Indonesia by conducting special meetings with business people in Jakarta, his office said.

He is scheduled to meet with the People's Consultative Assembly chief Hidayat Nurwahid and the House of Representatives speaker Agung Laksono before holding talks with Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

He is also expected to meet with the Timor Leste community in Indonesia before returning to Dili on Wednesday.

------------------------------------------ Joyo Indonesia News Service


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