Subject: JP: RI urges UN to lift emergency status in W. Timor

January 30, 2001 Jakarta Post

RI urges UN to lift emergency status in W. Timor

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian government has urged the United Nations (UN) to lift the emergency status it has imposed on West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara province, to speed up the repatriation of refugees to East Timor.

The director general for political affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hassan Wirayuda, said on Tuesday that the emergency status prevented UN workers from assisting in the repatriation of refugees.

"The UN does not respect the Indonesian government's efforts in handling the refugee problems, especially after the killing of three UN workers last September," Hassan said on the sidelines of a meeting between the government and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in Kuta, Bali.

"The demand (to lift the emergency status) is based on the situation in the field. Even (East Timorese leader Jose) Ramos Horta said the situation in Atambua is under control."

Hassan represented the Indonesian government in the meeting, while UNTAET was represented by its foreign affairs director, Peter Gelbright.

Meanwhile, Udayana (Bali and Nusa Tengara) regional military commander Maj. Gen. Williem T. da Costa told Antara that the meeting had discussed the building of an entry gate, the number of security posts required and activities to be allowed or forbidden at the border shared by East Timor and East Nusa Tenggara.

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