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DATE=9/10/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AUSTRALIA / EAST TIMOR (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-253687 BYLINE=NINO TESORIERO DATELINE=SYDNEY INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Australia has announced it will scale back its defense relations with Indonesia, in response to the situation in East Timor. However -- as Nino Tesoriero reports from Sydney -- the Australian government is taking care not to cut defense aspects which could jeopardize the United Nations mission in East Timor. TEXT: Australia is stepping up pressure on the Indonesian Government by partially cutting its defense ties. It has cancelled a paratrooper training exercise, a junior officers course and a joint air- operations seminar with the Indonesians. All elements of Australia's nearly-five-and-a- half-million dollar a year co-operation program will now be scrutinized. However, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has given U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan assurances no defense changes will be made which could undermine the U-N operation in Dili. Mr. Howard has announced almost two million dollars in aid to provide food and emergency supplies to refugees in both East and West Timor. The money will be channeled through U-N agencies. Mr. Howard flies back to Auckland this evening for the APEC summit, where he says he will exert new pressure on President Clinton to commit troops to a peacekeeping force. //HOWARD ACTUALITY// They are now talking in more positive terms. Clearly,there will be some assistance. Whether it involves the provision of boots on the ground, as the saying goes, we'll wait and see. I'll be talking again to the president in Auckland and we'll continue to put our view. //END ACTUALITY// Meanwhile, thousands of people have joined rallies around Australia calling for action to end the violence in East Timor. In the biggest rally, 25 thousand people in Melbourne marched on the offices of Indonesian- owned Garuda airlines. They burned flags and heard from East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao during a live telephone hook-up. NEB/NT/GC / wd 10-Sep-1999 04:20 AM LOC (10-Sep-1999 0820 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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