TITLE=AUSTRALIA / EAST TIMOR (L-ONLY)
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
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.
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.
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)
Source: Voice of America
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