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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 12:12 GMT
Indonesia, E Timor discuss report
By Tim Johnstone
BBC, Jakarta

East Timor's Xanana Gusmao and Indonesia's Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - 17/2/06
Both men played down the report's significance
The leaders of Indonesia and East Timor have met to discuss a controversial UN-backed report on Indonesia's 24-year occupation of East Timor.

The report, which was presented to the UN last month, accused Indonesia of complicity in as many as 180,000 East Timorese deaths.

Neither leader wants the report to sour relations between the two countries.

Both sides have rejected the report's calls for an international tribunal to bring justice for the victims.

The two leaders were supposed to meet last month, but Jakarta cancelled the meeting.

Indonesia was apparently unhappy with the decision by the Timorese President, Xanana Gusmao, to give the highly critical report extra prominence by handing it to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in person.

EAST TIMOR
1975: Indonesia invades after colonial power Portugal withdraws
Indonesia's often brutal rule opposed by Fretilin fighters
1999: More than 1,000 people killed over independence referendum
2002: East Timor becomes independent nation

Friday's meeting represented a return to normality for relations between the two governments.

Speaking after the meeting, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said it had been productive and that the two countries would seek to sort out their past history among themselves.

Both nations want to play down tensions. They have set up their own commission on truth and friendship, which will look into the period of the occupation, but critics say it does not meet international human rights standards.

While many East Timorese want to see justice done for their suffering during Indonesia's occupation, President Gusmao and his government long ago decided that good relations with their giant neighbour must take precedence.

Indonesia is still extremely sensitive on the subject of East Timor.

Many Indonesians believe the territory they once called their 27th province was stolen from them by an international conspiracy and they are in no mood to concede either a domestic prosecution of their own people, or an international tribunal to sit in judgement.


SEE ALSO:
Indonesian E Timor 'abuse' listed
21 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Army chief denies Timor killings
22 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Victims of a brutal war
20 Apr 03 |  From Our Own Correspondent
East Timor: Birth of a nation
19 May 02 |  Asia-Pacific
East Timor launches truth commission
21 Jan 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: East Timor
12 Jan 06 |  Country profiles
Country profile: East Timor
30 Dec 05 |  Country profiles


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