Date: Sat, 10 Aug 1996 01:22:12 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
Subject: Christopher quotes on Indonesia
/** reg.easttimor: 357.0 **/
** Topic: Christopher quotes on Indonesia **
** Written 5:47 AM Aug 5, 1996 by fbp in cdp:reg.easttimor **
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Indonesia and East Timor relevent excerpts from Unofficial Transscript

Secretary of State before Senate Foreign Relations Comittee. August 1, 1997

SEN. PELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I recently had the opportunity to be in Indonesia, where I know you were, Mr. Secretary. And I watched with interest the reports of the (rioting?) in -- (inaudible) -- this week. What was your reaction when you were there? And what do you see in the future vis-a-vis Indonesia, which is, after all the fourth-most populous nation in the world?

SEC. CHRISTOPHER: Well, Indonesia is, like many nations in the world, full of complexities. It has made remarkable progress on the economic front, and I think President Suharto and his administration has to be given great credit for that. They've advanced enormously, and they're one of the economic powers of the world. They are the most populous Muslim nation in the world, with over 200 million people. So they're definitely a force to be reckoned with.

We have long had problems over some of their human rights practices, and especially in the East Timor area, that I frequently talk to the Indonesians about them. At the present time, I think there's a strong interest in seeing an orderly transition of power there that will recognize the pluralism that should exist in a country of that magnitude and importance. So we will be encouraging a transition there that expresses the popular will.

One of the encouraging factors I found, Senator Pell, when I was there, I visited for the second time with the human rights commission that's been created by the government. Two years ago, when I met with that commission, it was just getting organized, just getting started. Now I'm glad to say that their procedures seem to be fairly well ingrained. They meet regularly. They comment on the public issues of the day there, including issues of freedom of press within their country and freedom of assembly within their country.

So I found that a very positive development and I was interested to talk with them about East Timor and their comments on East Timor, as well as their comments on the issue now in the press involving Mrs. Megawati. So as I say, there are complexities about the country, but it is an extremely important country, and the United States needs to maintain good relationships with.

SEN. PELL: I thank you, and I hope you have a chance to read our report that we did on East Timor and Indonesia. (Inaudible) -- pretty well when I see what's going on there now.

John M. Miller
PO Box 150753
Brooklyn, NY 11215-0014 USA
Phone: (718)788-6071

Send a blank e-mail message to to find out how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

World History Archives Gateway to World History Images from World History Hartford Web Publishing