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DATE=12/15/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR TALKS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-257170 BYLINE=KARRIN AMODEO DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Former rival East Timorese groups met in Tokyo on Wednesday to discuss the reconstruction of the former Indonesian territory. Karrin Amodeo reports from the Japanese capital, the meeting comes just ahead of Friday's international conference of aid donors to East Timor. TEXT: Wednesday's meeting was an opportunity for leaders of East Timorese groups and development experts to discuss World Bank proposals to rebuild the ravaged territory. While it was not a negotiating session between pro-independence and pro-Indonesia East Timorese groups, Florentino Sarmento, who heads the National Commission for Human Rights in East Timor, says Wednesday's discussions between the rival factions are the sort that are urgently needed. ///ACT SARMENTO /// It is the compromise, it is the commitment, instead of blaming each other, it is necessary and it is imperative that East Timorese sit together and construct dialogues. /// END ACTUALITY /// Swedish academic Kjell Ake Nordquist, from the department of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University, chaired the gathering. He says international aid to the devastated territory cannot be effective, without reconciliation. /// NORDQUIST ACT /// This is the most pressing issue because the international community is constantly asking what the East Timorese want, what they need, and there has to be a competent answer on that issue form the East Timorese themselves. ///END ACT /// Humanitarian issues headed the agenda. Providing basic human needs such as food, medicine and shelter are still major concerns. Developing a system of government and rebuilding the economy were also urgent issues. Observers in Tokyo expressed hope that Wednesday's meeting was a sign that the many factions in East Timor will begin to dissolve and new groups, with the common goal of rebuilding the territory, will emerge. The World Bank estimates the cost of reconstruction in East Timor will be between 260 and 300 million dollars, over the next three years. Donor countries including Japan, Australia, and the United States will meet here on Friday, under World Bank auspices, to pledge contributions to meet those needs. (SIGNED) NEB/KA/FC 15-Dec-1999 06:34 AM EDT (15-Dec-1999 1134 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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