RAMOS HORTA SAYS EAST TIMOR UNABLE TO BACK IRIAN JAYA SECESSION CLAIM

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (June 7, 2001 – Radio New Zealand International/TAPOL)---East Timorese leader Jose Ramos Horta, currently cabinet member for foreign affairs, says his country cannot support the claim to secession by the Papuans in Indonesia’s Irian Jaya province.

Mr. Ramos Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize three years before East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia, says East Timor cannot support every secession claim in the region.

However, Mr. Ramos Horta says he disapproves of the methods that continue to be used by the Indonesians against dissenting minorities.

"While we abhor what is being done to the West Papuans, to the Acehnese -- while we are perplexed at the inability of the Indonesian side to address the root cause of the unhappiness and rebellion in West Papua and Aceh -- we must also say that we cannot as a small nation in the making go around and endorse every secession claim in the region or anywhere in the world."

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email: [email protected]  Internet: www.gn.apc.org/tapol 

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