Andrews welcomes agreement on East Timor
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews TD, has welcomed the agreement signed in New York yesterday between Portugal and Indonesia on the future of East Timor.
The Minister welcomed in particular the decision to allow the United Nations Secretary-General to dispatch a number of civilian police officers to act as advisers in East Timor for the democratic vote on autonomy for the territory, scheduled to be held on 8 August. He added that the Government had always held that the best means of resolving the issue of East Timor was in the context of a UN-sponsored process of self-determination. Consideration is currently being given to what contribution Ireland can make to the establishment of the proposed UN police unit.
The Minister also stressed the importance of avoiding violence in the territory at all costs and he pointed to the urgent need to disarm the many uncontrolled militia groups currently engaged in acts of violence and intimidation. He renewed his call for the release of the resistance leader, Xanana Gusmao, whom he met in Jakarta during his visit there last month and whom he believes would act as a force for moderation in the transition process currently underway in East Timor.