Dili, 2 May 2002


President-elect Xanana Gusmão today met with Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri in Jakarta and personally invited her and other senior officials to East Timor’s upcoming independence celebrations.

The Indonesian President thanked 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.

After arriving in Jakarta this morning, Gusmão also met and delivered invitations to Indonesia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Nur Hassan Wirajuda, Co-ordinating Minister for Politics and Security Bambang Yudhoyono, and former Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, among others.

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 UNHCR’s 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.


Representatives of East Timor and Indonesia today completed a Joint Reconnaissance Survey (JRS) aimed at demarcating the countries’ common land borders.

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 fact that the survey took place before East Timor's independence shows the level of trust and cooperation that now exists between East Timor and Indonesia,” Nelson Santos, Director of Bilateral Affairs for East Timor’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, said today.

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 reconnaissance 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 has been a major goal of the United Nations before the end of the transition period.