Subject: Detik: Timor Promises to Lobby US to Overturn Military Embargo

Also: XN: East Timor president seeks to mend ties with Indonesia

BBC Monitoring International Reports

January 28, 2005


Text of report by Astrid Felicia Lim, carried by Indonesian Detikcom web site on 28 January

Jakarta: The Timor Leste (East Timor) government has promised to lobby the US government in its congress, in February 2005 about withdrawing the embargo on Indonesian military requirements.

The president of Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao, conveyed the matter after meeting the Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), Agung Laksono and the Speaker of the Regional Representatives' Council (DPD), Ginandjar Kartasasmita at the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR)/DPR building, Jalan Gatot Soebroto, Jakarta on Friday (28 January 2005).

"Timor Leste's Foreign Minister, Ramos Horta said earlier in our meeting that he will lobby the US in congress in February about the embargo and restrictions concerning military equipment supplies to Indonesia," said Xanana.

According to Xanana, this is a continuation of Timor Leste's efforts that were carried out during the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tsunami Summit meeting (KTT) in Jakarta not long ago.

The speaker of the DPR, Agung Laksono expressed thanks for the Timor Leste government's initiative. "They initiated it themselves after seeing the situation in Aceh. There are a lot of military needs that Indonesia cannot fulfil because, among other things, their planes need to be fixed and there are no spare parts," he said.

Agung also discussed in the meeting plans to increase cooperation between the (countries') parliaments. "As my parliament conveyed, future relations between the two countries should not only be in the area of the executive but also in the legislative. Earlier, it was also stressed that the two countries may no longer live in the shadows of the past," said Agung.

Xanana expressed his intention to visit Indonesia's parliament as a continuation of the exchange programme, where previously members of Indonesia's DPR visited Dili.

Xanana also said that he visited Indonesia to express the Timorese community's solidarity and sympathy regarding the Aceh and Northern Sumatera disaster.

"Yesterday, we gave a contribution to President Susilo as a sign of solidarity, the money collected by the general public, including school children, small children and kiosks was only small. But we gave from our hearts and out of a feeling of sorrow," he said.

Source: Detikcom web site, Jakarta, in Indonesian 28 Jan 05

) BBC Monitoring

East Timor president seeks to mend ties with Indonesia

January 28, 2005 2:09am

JAKARTA, Jan 28, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- East Timor President Xanana Gusmao in a three-day visit here Friday sought to mend bilateral ties with Indonesia, hand humanitarian assistance to tsunami victims and express opposition against US military embargo.

Speaking to reporter after a meeting with House of Representatives Speaker Agung Laksono at the parliament compound here, visiting Gusmao said his government would lobby the US congress to lift military embargo imposed on Indonesia.

"During the meeting, Foreign Minister Ramos Horta said we would lobby the US congress in February on issue of embargo and restriction of military equipment supply to Indonesia," said Gusmao.

The US government has imposed military embargo on Indonesia on allegation of human rights abuses by Indonesian military personnel during the East Timor referendum for independence in 1999.

Gusmao said his visit was aimed at enhancing bilateral ties with Indonesia, which ruled the tiny country from 1976 to 1999.

He asserted what happened in the past must not overshadow relationship between both countries.

Gusmao arrived here Thursday and has met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He said during a meeting with Susilo he expressed sympathy and condolence of the East Timor people to victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami in northern Sumatra and handed humanitarian assistance.

Although the sum of the assistance is not huge, "we give it with our heart," he said.

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