Fri, 14 Jan 2000

Kofi Annan to visit Indonesia, E. Timor

JAKARTA (JP): United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is due to visit Indonesia and East Timor in mid-February as part of an Asia Pacific tour.

Annan will arrive here on Feb. 15 and is scheduled to meet with President Abdurrahman Wahid, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Cabinet ministers during a three-day stay.

He will fly to Dili, East Timor, on Feb. 17 to visit the UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Information Office in Jakarta said in a statement on Thursday.

The visit is part of Annan's tour of Asia Pacific countries following his visit to the 10th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Bangkok and a brief stopover in Singapore.

The tour also includes Australia and New Zealand.

A 9,000-strong UN force is scheduled take over from the Australian-led International Force for East Timor in February.

AP quoted UN spokesman Fred Eckhard in New York as saying that said he did not know whether the transfer would take place during Annan's visit to Dili.

Reports out of the UN said Annan and his staff this week began reviewing a report by a UN special commission investigating alleged human rights violations in East Timor.

While the secretary-general has not made a decision on the matter, which could involve an international tribunal trying Indonesian officers, it is likely to be a priority in discussions with Abdurrahman. (mds)