Indonesia, Timor Leste to discuss border area issues

Kupang, E.Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will meet the government of East Timor in Dili to discuss issues related to several border points located between the two countries.

"The meeting will be held in Dili on September 28," Head of the Border Management Office of Kupang district Kain Maus revealed here on Tuesday.

He noted that a discussion will be held on an issue related to Naktuka village in East Amofoang sub-district, which is inhabited by Indonesians, yet the Timor Leste government had issued identity cards to them.

According to Maus, traditional and community leaders, with in-depth knowledge about East Amofoangs social history, should be invited to attend the meeting as they are the owners of the lands in Naktuka village.

He suggested that the local traditional and community leaders should be involved and must have the right to voice their opinion in order to solve the border area issues in a fair and just manner, and hence, the meeting will ensure that justice is meted out to both sides.

"Involving the leaders is important to gain a fair result and to avoid social conflicts among the local people living in border areas," he noted.

Head of the Inter-State Border Management Division Gerardus Naisoko stated that several deputed border points still exist.

Technical teams from Indonesia and Timor Leste still hold differing opinions on some points along the Noel River in Kupang district, which borders Citrana, Oecuse District, Timor, based on a treaty agreed between the Dutch and Portuguese colonial governments in 1904.

The different interpretations have led to a land dispute along the Noel River, access to which is still closed and not maintained by both countries.

"Noel River is a border crossing point, including those in Naktuka area," he added.(*)

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