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East Timorese activist meets Australia's Foreign Minister

ABC - February 14, 1997

East Timorese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jose Ramos Horta, has had talks in Adelaide with Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer.

The one-hour meeting was the first between Mr Ramos Horta and the Howard Government.

Mr Ramos Horta says he heard no change to government policy about the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

But, he says he told Mr Downer of his satisfaction with Australia's efforts to raise human rights issues with the Indonesian government, and of his gratitude for Australia sheltering refugees.

"In this connection we appeal to the minister to use his best influence, to consider granting a five year residence for instance to the one-thousand-three-hundred East Timorese who are right now in Australia and in a limbo without knowing what's going to happen to them, whether they are going to be deported or go to Portugal, and that has caused them enormous emotional problems."