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USA Threatens Indonesia With Economic Sanctions

The United States is applying pressure to Indonesia to restore order in East Timor saying if it does not end the violence President Habibie must invite the international community to restore security.

That was the message this morning from the White House.

President Clinton said: “If Indonesia does not end the violence, it must invite the international community to assist in restoring security," Clinton said. "It must move forward in the transition to independence."

"It would be a pity if the Indonesian recovery were crashed by this, but one way or the other it will be crashed by this if they don't fix it. Because there'll be overwhelming public sentiment to stop the international economic cooperation," he said.

If Indonesia failed to make progress in securing East Timor, the USA will be reluctant to offer further economic assistance to Indonesia.

President Clinton said Indonesia should accept East Timor's "clear, unambiguous" desire for independence.

The message was clear: if Indonesia fails to recognise the will of the East Timorese for self rule, then economic sanctions will follow from the entire world community.

President Clinton said future assistance "will depend strongly" on the outcome of the crisis. "One way or the other it will be crashed by this if they don't fix it [East Timor violence]. Nobody is going to want to continue to invest there if they're allowing this sort of travesty to go on."

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