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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Results of Vote in East Timor
Jerusalem, September 4, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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The Secretary General has just announced the results of the UN-administered ballot to determine the future status of East Timor. By their votes, the people of East Timor have spoken loudly and clearly. This historic consultation is a major step toward the birth of a new nation. Independence will come to East Timor through a process designed by the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal, with the assistance of the United Nations. The United States, and many other members of the international community, have supported, and will continue to strongly support, this process.

The United States congratulates the people of East Timor. In making known your strong desire for independence in this election, you have faced dangers and hardships over recent weeks. Secretary General Annan, his Personal Representative Ambassador Jamsheed Marker, and Special Representative Ian Martin and those he led in the United Nations Mission in East Timor, also deserve high praise for their steadfastness and courage. A number of UN employees have lost their lives in this operation. We deplore this violence. Let them not have given their lives in vain.

We acknowledge the important role of Indonesia in making it possible for the people of East Timor to express their views on their own future and to enter into the transition to independence. We look to the government and the people of Indonesia to create a secure environment for the next steps in East Timor's orderly transition. Indonesia has continuing obligations and must live up to them. To do otherwise risks disaster, and will have lasting effects on Indonesia's status in the international community. It is now time for cooperation and conciliation, not chaos and bloodshed.

Let us all now work together to complete the UN-administered process. We look forward to being a good friend to a new member of the international community.

[End of Document]

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