|Call for Needed Aid and Assistance to East Timor
The following letter calls for much needed aid and assistance to East Timor. Circulated in Congress by Rep. Nita Lowey, it was sent to President Clinton on April 16th.
April 16, 1999
Hon. William Jefferson Clinton
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to encourage strong United States support for Indonesia and East Timor during a political transition process for East Timor.
The negotiations between Indonesia and Portugal over the political status of East Timor have made tremendous progress in recent weeks. We are hopeful that these talks will be completed shortly and will result in a framework for East Timorese independence, but we are concerned about ensuring fair and transparent balloting, and a peaceful transition process that protects human rights and democratic principles.
We strongly urge you to make it very clear to the parties to the negotiations and East Timorese leaders that the United States stands ready and willing to assist in this transition. To ensure a successful and peaceful transition to an independent and democratic East Timor, the United States must be ready to offer bilateral political and economic assistance to East Timor and Indonesia. The United States must also support United Nations and international community efforts to encourage a careful and measured transition that avoids creating a power vacuum in East Timor, which would almost certainly lead to bloodshed.
We want to commend you, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth for your commitment to the people of Indonesia and East Timor. We look forward to continuing to work with you on this critical issue.