East Timor Gusmão invites Indonesian leaders to independence celebrations

The Indonesian President thanked Mr. Gusmão for the invitation but has yet to formally announce whether she will attend the 19-20 May handover ceremony that will mark East Timor’s independence. The territory has been under UN administration since October 1999.After arriving in Jakarta this morning, Mr. Gusmão also met and delivered invitations to Foreign Minister Nur Hassan Wirajuda, Co-ordinating Minister for Politics and Security Bambang Yudhoyono, and former Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, among others, according to UNTAET.Mr. Gusmão, who was elected East Timor’s president on 14 April, is scheduled to leave Jakarta tomorrow morning for South Sulawesi, where he will join the head of the UN High Commissioner’s (UNHCR) East Timor office to discuss the repatriation of some 1,000 East Timorese refugees living on the island. These discussions will include the Governor of South Sulawesi, refugees and their leaders.Meanwhile, East Timorese and Indonesian representatives on Thursday completed a Joint Reconnaissance Survey (JRS) aimed at demarcating the common land borders between the two countries.The joint survey team – which included surveyors, geographic engineers and geologists from Indonesia and East Timor – visited seven locations along the common border as they attempted to locate old border markers and study geological features and technical issues.The team also discussed the location of the treaty border with communities from East Timor and West Timor, Indonesia, the leaders of which accompanied the team throughout the 10-day survey.The findings of the survey will be reported to the Technical Subcommittee on Border Demarcation and Regulation, which is part of a bilateral committee between East Timor and Indonesia.The launch of the border demarcation process before the end of the transition period has been a major goal of UNTAET. read more