Subject: Xanana says Horta regrets anti-RI remarks [+Border issues; KPK visit]

also: 2 JP reports: Timor Leste, Indonesia to complete border issues; and Timor Leste MPs visit KPK

The Jakarta Post

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Xanana says Horta regrets anti-RI remarks

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta has expressed regret for publicly accusing Indonesian elements of being involved in an assassination attempt against him, the neighboring country's prime minister said here Tuesday.

Xanana Gusmao said Horta had requested him to convey his regrets over the statements to the media about individuals who facilitated the entry of Timor Lester armed rebel leader Alfredo Reinado into Indonesia for an interview with MetroTV.

However, Xanana did not say if Horta withdrew his statements.

Horta specifically mentioned MetroTV presenter Desi Anwar as being among the accused Indonesian elements.

"I'm going to have a meeting with Desi Anwar to talk about this issue very frankly and to convey the regret over the statement," Xanana said at a joint press briefing after a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.

"Bapak President (Yudhoyono) showed a very comprehensive political behavior, inviting and accepting us here to gather and talk about many issues," he said.

Xanana asked Indonesians to consider and understand the condition of Horta, who had just emerged from a two-week coma after the assassination attempt.

Yudhoyono said he appreciated Horta's regret and Xanana's plan to meet Desi to settle the row.

"In the beginning of our meeting I expressed my annoyance concerning President Ramos-Horta's statement about the involvement of Indonesian individuals, including Desi Anwar. I hope both of us can solve this problem well in a friendly manner," the President said.

"After hearing the explanation from Prime Minister Xanana, we expect that this problem will not spark more misunderstanding between us and will not disrupt our bilateral relationship."

Yudhoyono said the Indonesian police and Timor Leste's attorney general's office were maintaining their cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the attempted assassination to court.

"Thanks to the cooperation and professionalism of the law enforcers, four persons allegedly implicated in the incident have been arrested," he said.

National Police chief Gen. Sutanto said his office would immediately extradite four Timor Leste military deserters who were recently arrested for their alleged involvement in the assassination attempt.

About the recent surrender of Gastao Salsinha, who took over the command of Timor Leste's rebel group after Reinado's death during the attack, Xanana said his government would entrust the legal process to the law enforcers.

"The situation in Timor Leste has recovered after the shooting incident, the result of good coordination among state institutions, and we appreciate the good work of our police," he said.

Xanana said the government would avoid violence against the rebel group and would allow the court to settle the case.


The Jakarta Post Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Timor Leste, Indonesia to complete border issues

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Timor Leste and Indonesia agreed Tuesday to greater cooperation on many issues, with the leaders of the two nations expressing a commitment to preserving good bilateral ties.

The agreement followed a meeting between visiting Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Bilateral relations between the neighbors were recently put at risk following repeated allegations by Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta that individuals in Indonesia were to connected to the attempted assassinations of him and Xanana in February.

The two leaders discussed the completion of border demarcation, said Yudhoyono at a joint press conference.

"We're both glad that 97 percent of the area along the border has been demarcated. And we hope the technical committee can complete the process by this year or next year," Yudhoyono said.

He added he would support a lenient arrangement for traditional border crossers.

The two countries agreed on 97 percent of the land border spanning 268.8 kilometers, following a discussion at the Technical Sub-Committee on Border Demarcation and Regulation in Bali in February.

There are three border sections which have remained unresolved, covering Dilumil/Memo, Bijael Sunan Oben and Noel Besi/Citrana.

The two countries have also agreed to boost defense cooperation, Yudhoyono said, which could include education for military personnel and courtesy calls.

During the meeting, Yudhoyono supported the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Missions in Timor Leste (UNMIT), which will finish February next year. He also supported Timor Leste's preparation for their admission into ASEAN in 2012.

Indonesia has appointed Ambassador Agus Tarmidzi as a senior advisor to Timor Leste foreign affairs ministry to help the country prepare.

On education and cultural issues, Yudhoyono said he welcomed Timor Leste students who pursue education here and appreciated the establishment of the Indonesian Language and Cultural Center in Dili.

On climate change issues, Yudhoyono welcomed Timor Leste's participation in the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral cooperation involving six Asian-Pacific countries, including Indonesia, to safeguard coral reefs from degradation and the impact from global warming.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of a trade agreement and memorandum of understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation and trade between the Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and Timor Leste's Minister for Tourism, Commerce and Industry Gil da Costa Alves.

Later in the day, Timor Leste and Indonesian trade ministers signed a MOU on technical cooperation concerning small and medium industries.

The ceremony also included the signing of MOU on technical cooperation on drug and food control. It was signed by Indonesia's Drug and Food Supervisory Agency Husnia Rubiana Thamrin Akib and Timor Leste's Minister of Health Nelson Martinus.

Timor Leste still depends on Indonesia's supply of staple foods, with some 75 percent of its commodities imported from Indonesia.

Trade cooperation between the two countries, in which Indonesia always enjoys a surplus, has shown a downward trend since 2003. Last year, the trade value decreased by 74.7 percent from 2006's US$30.69 million.


The Jakarta Post Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Timor Leste MPs visit KPK

JAKARTA: A delegation of Timor Leste parliamentarians visited the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) office in Jakarta on Tuesday to discuss Indonesia's fight against graft.

Head of the anti-corruption sub-commission of Timor Leste's Parliament Commission C, Cipriana da Costa Pereira, said her country had little experience in stamping out corruption.

"We want to learn about the anti-corruption law here as well as the functions and authorities of the anti-graft body as we plan to have one," Pereira told a press conference.

She also invited KPK chief Antasari Azhar to deliver a keynote speech at an anti-corruption seminar to be held in Timor Leste in June.

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