Subject: Smuggling on Indonesian and Timor Leste Border

also President : All RI-Timor Leste borders fixed by year-end

Smuggling on Indonesian and Timor Leste Border

Friday, 02 May, 2008 | 15:13 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao admits a lack of security at the Timor Leste and Indonesian border. Police in his country, he said, have not worked optimally on watching the traffic between borders.

"There are many shortcuts between the border that can be used to smuggle basic commodities," said Xanana when visiting the main office of Muhammadiyah in Jakarta, yesterday.

According to Xanana, the reason for smuggling is because of the lack of basic commodities in border areas in Timor Leste. People cross the border for basic commodities.

Defense Minister of Timor Leste Julio Thomas Pinto, who accompanied Xanana, also pointed out the lack of security by Timor Leste police. He plans to increase their performance by having an agreement in the defense sector with Indonesia. "Indonesia will be asked to train Timor Leste police and military," he said.

When Xanana met the head of the Indonesian police General Sutanto at police headquarters last Wednesday, they agreed to continue the cooperation in police education.

Sutanto said that officers of the Timor Leste police will be sent to police school for staff and leaders in Bandung.

Xanana mentioned several problems to be solved in his country like refugees and deserters. "Most importantly, people there are frustrated for not having significant progress," he said.

However, he refused to say Timor Leste has failed. "This new country has failed if it damages many things. But, in our country, we still have president, and the state institutions are still functioning."



04/30/08 10:11

President : All RI-Timor Leste borders fixed by year-end

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said here Tuesday Indonesia and Timor Leste are expected to have fixed all their common boundaries by the end of 2008.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with visiting Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao at at the Merdeka Palace, Yudhoyono said a joint technical committee had so far completed discussing 97 percent of the subject matter on their common borders.

"We hope the technical committee will be able to complete its task at the end of this year. In our meeting (with Prime Minister Gusmao) we also discussed the border matter," President Yudhoyono said.

On the occasion, the Indonesian president also expressed Indonesia`s support for a relatively flexible system to regulate traditional border-crossing by people living in the two countries` frontier regions.

"Indonesia welcomes the flexible system for traditional border-crossers," he added.

Prime Minister Gusmao, meanwhile, said he highly appreciated the existing cooperation between the two countries which was forged on the basis of friendship and a desire to make common progress.

"My discussion with President Yudhoyono was like a young man asking for his elder brother`s views and inputs," he said.

Besides bilateral matters, the two heads of government also discussed regional issues.

President Yudhoyono said he and Gusmao also discussed three regional issues, namely Indonesia`s support for the extension of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT)`s service in Timor Leste, Indonesia`s encouragement of Timor Leste to join ASEAN, the climate change issue in relation with the sustainability of coral waters.

On bilateral defense cooperation, President Yudhoyono said Indonesia basically welcomed such cooperation.

"However, we should handle the matter of military cooperation carefully to prevent misunderstanding about Indonesia`s military role in Timor Leste," he added.

Military cooperation could be carried out , among others, by exchange of visits between military officers of the two countries, he added.

"We would also welcome the holding of joint exercises to deal with natural disasters. The matter can be further formulated by the two countries` defense ministers," he added.

The international community should not be worried about by the existence of Indonesia-Timor Leste cooperation in the military field, he said.

Gusmao arrived here on Monday for a state visit until Wednesday (April 30). President Yudhoyono officially greeted Gusmao at the Merdeka Palace on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Timor Leste prime minister would meet House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Agung Laksono and the chairman of the People`s Consultative Assembly, Hidayat Nur Wahid.

On Wednesday, Gusmao will held a meeting with Indonesia`s military vhief, attend a luncheon with Indonesian businessmen, and visit the National Police Headquarters.

He is scheduled to return to the Timor Leste capital of Dili on Friday (May 2). (*)

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