Subject: DARE II : Press Release
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 09:21:19 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <>

From: "Solidamor" <>


Jl. Travessa de Lecidere, Dili, Timor Timur, Phone/Fax: 62-390 324747, Email:

Press Release June 30, 1999

Dare II Talks End on a Subdued Note

The Dare II peace and reconciliation conference has taken a significant step towards healing the wounds in East Timor society. But the talks also revealed that, despite a good atmosphere around the negotiating table, deep divisions remain. On the last day of talks delegates from pro-integration and pro-independence groups refined a statement of the basic ideas they can agree on but could find little common ground on a joint committee for the implementation of these ideas. Although both sides agreed on the crucial necessity for further dialogue, they were unable to produce a procedure to carry the Dare II talks forward.

The most significant achievement of the conference has been an in- principle agreement to respect the June 18 agreement on disarmament of militias and Falintil, and to respect the outcome of the UN administered popular consultation scheduled for next month. Given the attendance at the conference of an unprecedented array of top political and military leaders from both sides, this is a considerable achievement. The discussions that produced it were conducted in a good atmosphere, holding out the promise that in future talks. East Timorese leaders may be able to hammer out agreement on institutions within which the principles agree on in the conference can be turned into reality.

Towards the conclusion of the morning session, Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Baucau expressed a "hunger" for real substance. This appeal produced a suggstion that a joint commission be formed to secure the interests of both sides before and after the popular consultation. After some discussion delegates decided that the idea needed further consideration and should be released from to this, Mr Gusmao exressed his confidence in the popular consultation and that the development of democracy in Indonesia would ultimately lead to his release.

Pro-integration delegates continued to press the argument, that for them, wide-ranging autonomy within the Republic of Indonesia is already a concession, and detention to participate in campaigning for the popular consulation failed to get approval. In response that this concession should be matched by flexibility on the part of pro-independence leaders. They also pressed for more assurance of neutrality on the part of UNAMET.

Earlier a group of young men and women staged a rowdy demonstration outside the confrence venue, demanding that CNRT defence spokesman Jose Ramos Horta leave the country. The leader of the demonstration put the demand to Mr Gusmao and Mr Ramos Horta in brief meeting in the lobby of the hotel in the presence of Bishop Belo.

The conference, which began June 25 th, closed this evening in a subdued atmosphere with the signing of a declaration on common principles followed by the conference dinner.

Father Domingos Sequeira Spokesperson, Dare II Steering Committee

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