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Sunday, September 12, 1999 Published at 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Habibie statement: Full text

Full text of the speech in English by Indonesian President BJ Habibie accepting international peacekeeping troops for East Timor, 12 September 1999:

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As you know, I had sent (armed forces commander) General Wiranto to East Timor to accompany the representatives of the UN Security Council, primarily to get a first hand report about the real situation in East Timor after the declaration of martial law.

The information that I received from him and others has given me sufficient reason to discuss the matter immediately with members of my cabinet.

A couple of minutes ago I called the UN Secretary-General to inform him about our readiness to accept international peacekeeping forces through the UN from friendly nations to restore peace and security in East Timor, to protect the people and to implement the result of the direct ballot of 30 August.

BJ Habibie: "A couple of minutes ago I called Mr Annan ..."
Too many people have lost their lives since the beginning of the unrest, lost their homes and security. We cannot wait any longer. We have to stop the suffering and mourning immediately.

Armed forces tried to 'stabilise' situation

Since I took over, I have been determined to strengthen democracy in Indonesia, the rule of law, to stabilise our economy and to guarantee human rights.

East Timor
My position on East Timor was and continues to be determined by these values and goals. I know that our friends and partners all over the world, and especially the vast majority of the Indonesian people support this position.

The Indonesian defence forces try to stabilise the situation in East Timor since the declaration of martial law on the seventh of September.

At the same time, they had to recognise there are limits to what more they could achieve. They have done their utmost in a very complex and complicated situation, under very difficult psychological constraints without neglecting their responsibilities for peace and security in other parts of the Republic of Indonesia.

I have asked Foreign Minister Ali Alatas to travel to New York immediately to explain to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to the UN Security council, our position and to prepare the details of its implementation.

Thank you for your attention.

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