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Annan praises Indonesia's determination over Timor

Annan praises Indonesia's determination over East Timor follow-up.

15 February -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday praised the efforts of the Indonesian Government to uphold the rule of law and prosecute those suspected of involvement in atrocities in East Timor.

The Secretary-General, who arrived in Jakarta today on the latest leg of his Asian tour, was speaking to reporters shortly after meeting the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Alwi Shihab.

The UN wanted to see those accused of crimes in East Timor brought to trial and made accountable, Mr. Annan said. "The Government of Indonesia has demonstrated its determination to do just that. And if it is mounting a credible trial and prosecuting these people, I suspect the Security Council would not rush to set up a competing international tribunal."

On the plight of the East Timorese refugees in West Timor, the Secretary-General insisted that full access to the people in the camps was essential.

In their meeting, Mr. Annan and the Foreign Minister also discussed the recent suspension from the Indonesian cabinet of the security minister and former military chief, General Wiranto, a UN spokeswoman at New York Headquarters said. She quoted the Foreign Minister as saying, "We are all in a good mood," as he expressed relief that the crisis had passed. Mr. Shihab also expressed the hope that the issues of Aceh, Ambon and the Moluccas would be resolved.

The Secretary-General's programme today included a visit to Indonesia's parliament building where he met with Amien Rais, Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly. They discussed Indonesia's transition to democracy, the separation from East Timor and the country's economic reform efforts. Mr. Annan later met the Speaker of the Indonesian Parliament, Akbar Tandjung, as well as with UN staff and representatives of UN agencies.

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