Subject: AN: Xanana asked RI to support recovery efforts in Timor Leste

July 3

Xanana asked RI to support recovery efforts in Timor Leste

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Before inviting UN peacekeeping troops into Timor Leste last June, the contry`s President , Xanana Gusmao, and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer asked Indonesia to support recovery efforts in Timor Leste, Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda said.

"We later encouraged Malaysia to take part in the recovery efforts in Timor Leste," the minister said at a hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I led by Theo L Sambuaga here on Monday.

Wirajuda said the Indonesian government immediately closed its borders with Timor Leste when a riot broke out in the tiny country.

"The decision was taken to prevent any infiltration. We are neutral," he said.

However, the government later reopened the border partly at the request of President Xanana Gusmao. "The selective reopening of the border check-points was to ensure smooth transportation of basic necessity supplies," he said.

Wirajuda said at the time there were media reports saying that Timor Leste Prime Mnister Mari Alkatiri had accused Indonesia of being involved in the Dili communal conflicts.

"However, Alkatiri later said he had never mentioned Indonesia` but militia groups in Timor Leste," the minister explained.

President Xanana Gusmao and Timor Leste Foreign Affairs Minister Ramos Horta also denied Alkatiri`s accusation. "Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Downer also denied it," Wirajuda said.

Wirajuda told members of the Parliament`s Commission I that Alkatiri also played a cerain role in the conflict in Timor Leste.

The minister said there was an attempt to expel a Metro TV reporter from Dili because his reports were considered inaccurate.

"But the expulsion did not happen thanks to President Xanana Gusmao`s interference," he said.

At the working meeting with the legislators, Minister Wirajuda also touched on a number of corruption cases that had hapened in the Indonesian embassies in Malaysia and Tokyo. The cases were currently being handeled by the Corruption Crime Court, he said.(*)

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