Fri, 03 Jan 2003

East Timorese figures to meet

ATAMBUA, East Nusa Tenggara: A number of East Timorese figures now living in Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara province, are scheduled to meet with several East Timor leaders in Kupang regency on Saturday.

One of the figures, Alberto Madeira da Silva, said former East Timor governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares had arranged the meeting to celebrate Christmas and also as a means of reconciliation.

According to reports, figures from 13 former East Timor regencies have confirmed their attendance in the meeting. East Timor's parliamentary chairman, Francisco Guterres, and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri have also been invited.

"If the reconciliation meeting brings hope for peace across East Timor, then East Timorese refugees will return to their homes in East Timor. Otherwise, the refugees will choose to stay in East Nusa Tenggara province," Francisco Soares Perreira, another figure, said. --Antara