- I said that the eye-witness reports in the Australian media on 26 November1 created considerable difficulties for Australian Ministers. I noticed that he, Malik, had denied these eye witness reports of Indonesian air and naval involvement.2 Malik said blandly that he had denied them after consulting with Minister for Defence, General Panggabean, who had also denied them.
- I said that these reports, whether denied or not, naturally stirred up feelings in Australia. Malik said he was aware of this. There was-for reasons he could not understand-a strong pro-Fretilin element in Australia and apparently a lack of understanding amongst the Australian public of the vital importance of the future of East Timor to Indonesia. I said that even if this were so, reliable looking reports of the use of force by Indonesia must be expected to cause a reaction in Australia.
Policy on Timor
- Malik said that there had been no change either in Indonesian policy or its objectives in respect of Timor. Malik added that, with the exception of Australia, such pressure as there was on Indonesia was to settle the issue quickly. He instanced Malaysia and India as the most recent countries to advise Indonesia accordingly. He added however that the President wanted Indonesian objectives achieved 'legally'. (I assume he should have said 'at least to appear to be achieved legally'.)
[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, xvi]