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Bureocratic problems blocking departure of Timorese in Austrian embassy

Lusa - September 24, 1997

Jakarta – Bureaucratic problems are blocking the departure of six East Timorese who have sought sanctuary in the Austrian embassy in Jakarta and asked to leave to Portugal.

The Austrian ambassador said on Tuesday the "biggest problem is setting the exact identity of those people", stressing the administrative procedures were "complex and long".

The four adults and two children entered the embassy last Friday, asking to leave to Portugal. Since 1993, more than 130 Timorese have sought sanctuary in foreign embassies in Indonesia before leaving the country to Portugal, via the Netherlands.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it one year later in a move not recognized by the United Nations that still regards Portugal as the territory's administering power.