Subject: AFP: Indonesia wants to open office in East Timor

Indonesia wants to open office in East Timor

JAKARTA, Oct 31 (AFP) - Indonesia wants to open a representative office in East Timor as soon as UN authorities in the territory give permission, the official Antara news agency reported Sunday.

The foreign ministry issued a statement confirming the last Indonesian troops had pulled out of East Timor and pledging to work for good relations with a future independent government, said Antara.

"Indonesia would always be prepared to take part in efforts to solve problems that might arise as a consequence of the power transfer," foreign ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin was quoted as saying.

"In order to help solve those problems the Indonesian government would one day set up an office in East Timor. The office would be opened as soon as the UNTAET has given the necessary guarantee."

The United Nations Transitional Authority for East Timor (UNTAET) has been given the task of running East Timor in the run up to full independence, which is expected to take two or three years.

Ambassador Taufik Sudarbo, head of the Indonesian task force for East Timor, told AFP as he left the territory Saturday with the last Indonesian troops that he could return to open an office as early as January.

Just over 900 Indonesian soldiers left East Timor Saturday by plane and ship, ending 24 years of military occupation.

The withdrawal followed an August 30 referendum in which the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly to break free of Indonesian rule and Jakarta's ratification of the poll results.


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