Andrews meets with President B J Habibie and General Wiranto in Jakarta
Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews TD, met today with President Habibie of Indonesia, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Alatas. The Minister gave President Habibie a full briefing on events in Dili on Saturday and said that a senior member of the administration should go to Dili as soon as possible to assess the situation on the ground. President Habibie said that his Government would meet later to discuss the Indonesian position in advance of the tripartite talks in New York. The President informed Minister Andrews that he would accept a UN Technical Mission in East Timor as soon as possible after the conclusion of the tripartite agreement.
In addition, President Habibie said that Indonesia would accept monitors from Japan, Australia, the Philippines, the US and Europe who would act under the aegis of the United Nation. Minister Andrews welcomed this development but said it should happen as soon as possible.
General Wiranto later left the Special Cabinet meeting to meet with Minster Andrews. The Minister gave him a first hand account of the events in Dili and reiterated that urgent action was needed to curb the activities of the armed militias. Minister Andrews outlined his view that the Governor and the local Military Commander of East Timor were not acting as they should in a situation where the local population was being terrorised by armed thugs. General Wiranto confirmed that he himself was leaving for Dili tomorrow to assess the situation at first hand.
Minister Andrews has been on a five-day visit to Indonesia. In addition to meetings with President Habibie, Foreign Minister Alatas, the Minister for Trade and General Wiranto, he met with Mr Xanana Gusmao, the Timorese resistance leader who is currently under house arrest in Jakarta. In Dili, he had meetings with the Governor and the Military Commander of East Timor as well as with Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo. Minister Andrews also met with Irish personnel serving with NGOs in the region. He was accompanied throughout his visit by Mr. Tom Hyland of the East Timor Ireland Solidarity Campaign.