|Subject: CONG: US Senators write Albright on E Timor
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 08:40:40 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
United States Senate WASHINGTON, DC 20610
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madame Secretary: 1 March 1999
As you continue your visit to Asia, we are writing to encourage you to take the opportunity of your stop in Indonesia to press the Indonesian government to work toward a just and peaceful settlement of the situation in East Timor.
While recent statements by the Indonesian government indicating a willingness to consider independence for East Timer were encouraging, the situation on the ground in East Timor remains one of escalating violence by the Indonesian military (ABRI) and ABRI-backed paramilitary units. Serious political violence has wracked East Timor's capital, Dili, in recent days. This immediate crisis must be addressed if hopes of progress toward a resolution of East Timor's status are to be realized.
In your discussions with Indonesian leaders later this week, we urge you to seek their cooperation in implementing several measures which are essential to ameliorate the current situation and lay the groundwork for constructive negotiations on East Timor's future. You should press the Indonesians to: Allow the speedy introduction of permanent UN and other international observers in East Timor; end immediately the arming of pro-integrationist para- military units in East Timor by the ABRI; initiate a process to disarm and disband these units; and, proceed with a genuine, monitored withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor. We also encourage you to call for the immediate release from house arrest of Xanana Gusmao and to proceed with your reported plans to meet with him during your visit.
We recognize the efforts that you and Assistant Secretary Stanley Roth have made to promote the release of political prisoners in Indonesia and to advocate the withdrawal of ABRI troops from East Timor. We hope that you will successfully carry this work forward during your time in Jakarta and look forward to hearing a report upon your return.
Senator Paul Wellstone