Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Timor leader praises Labour
Robin Cook with Vetan Surroi from Kosovo
Labour's claims that its "ethical" foreign policy remains intact have been boosted by a message of thanks from East Timor's independence leader Xanana Gusmao.
In a video shown to the party's annual conference, Mr Gusmao expressed his gratitude to Labour for its role in achieving independence for East Timor.
Mr Gusmao said Labour had much to be proud of. However, he made no mention of the government's decision to continue to supply Hawk warplanes to Jakarta until several days after pro-Indonesian militia went on the rampage following the independence referendum.
Mr Gusmao also praised the government for helping to galvanise world opinion to send United Nations troops to East Timor.
On a personal note Mr Gusmao also expressed his gratitude to British embassy personnel for sheltering himself and a relative.
He also paid tribute to the late Foreign Office minister Derek Fatchett who visited him when he was placed under house arrest by the Indonesian government. "His death is a loss of for us all," he said.
Earlier Mr Cook had defended the government's record in East Timor.
"I am content to be judged by the people of East Timor," he said.
'UK kept promises to Kosovo'
The government's foreign policy was also praised by another foreign guest who spoke in the conference debate on Britain's role in the world.
"For someone like me, who believed in the words told to me by minister Cook long before the bombing campaign began that the Kosovars would not be let alone, watching British paras patrol the street that had just 24 hours before been patrolled by the most ruthless thugs of the Serb military and the police, was a promise fulfilled," he said.
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