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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 17:48 GMT
E Timor, Indonesia sign accords
Xanana Gusmao East Timorese chats with a child at a community meeting
Mr Gusmao is favourite to become E Timor's president
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By Richard Galpin
BBC Jakarta correspondent reporting from Bali
Indonesia and the United Nations administration in East Timor have signed a series of agreements aimed at smoothing relations for when East Timor gains full independence from the UN in three months time.

The agreements came at a high-level meeting between the two sides, held on the island of Bali.

I could not have expected better results than the one we achieved today

Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN mission in East Timor
The UN says it now believes the foundations have been laid for positive relations between the two countries, despite the violence surrounding East Timor's separation from Indonesia less than three years ago.

Both the Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, and the head of the UN administration, Sergio Vieira de Mello, were upbeat at the end of the talks. They described relations as "positive, forward-looking and based on trust".

Freedom to travel

They concluded with the signing of two agreements, with another expected to be finalised very soon.

These include measures to facilitate the easy movement of people across the border between East Timor and the western half of the island, which is part of Indonesia.

Also, the East Timorese in the isolated enclave of Oecussi will now be able to travel by land through Indonesian territory to the main part of East Timor.

Overall, the UN head Sergio Vieira de Mello was clearly extremely pleased. He said: "I could not have expected better results than the one we achieved today.

"I think this augurs well for what remains of our co-operation under the United Nations flag in East Timor, and certainly for the future co-operation and the friendly relations between the republic of Indonesia and independent East Timor.

Megawati invitation

The Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri has now been invited to attend the celebrations when East Timor becomes fully independent in May.

There is no doubt that substantial progress in mending relations between the two countries has been made since the traumatic independence vote in 1999 in which at least 1,000 people were killed.

But there are outstanding issues. Not least that those responsible for the violence, including senior Indonesian military officers, have still not been put on trial, although the government in Jakarta has given assurances that the first cases will be heard very soon.

See also:

26 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
E Timor invites Megawati to party
25 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
E Timor invites Megawati to party
23 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Gusmao runs for E Timor presidency
21 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia charges seven over E Timor
19 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia rejects Timor extraditions
01 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
UN renews support for East Timor
21 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
East Timor launches truth commission
25 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Gusmao runs for Timor presidency
06 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Victory for Timor freedom party
21 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: East Timor
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