Subject: UN: April 6 press briefing
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 09:40:39 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

6 April 1999 Press Briefing




**East Timor

The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman on the subject of East Timor:

The Secretary-General is seriously concerned by continuing reports from East Timor of an escalation of violence. A high degree of political maturity and statesmanship is required at this time so that the opportunity now on the table can be seized.

He emphasizes his commitment to the continuation of the diplomatic process towards the settlement of the East Timor question, and urges the parties not to allow the process to be jeopardized by increasing armed conflict.


Question: Was the Secretary-General aware Xanana Gusmao has announced this week that he's essentially ordering his guerrillas back into action after asking them to abstain from military action for several months?

To paraphrase his statement, he's basically saying that he thinks the Indonesian Government is negotiating in bad faith -- negotiating here while creating facts on the ground that would undermine any move towards independence. Did the Secretary-General have any more specific comment about that statement?

Spokesman: No, he does not. We're looking forward to the return of the assessment team that's been in the region; they're coming back next week.

Ambassador Jamsheed Marker will be here, I believe on Tuesday, to meet with them, not only to review what they went out to assess -- which was how to sample opinion on the autonomy proposal among East Timorese -- but the situation more broadly in East Timor. It's a very worrying situation, and that's why the Secretary-General made this appeal this morning.

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