November 13, 1997 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The U.S. Congress has urged the Clinton administration not to supply arms to Indonesia that could be used in East Timor. Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1975 and annexed it in 1976. The United Nations has refused to recognize the annexation.
The Clinton administration already has a policy of not providing small arms, crowd control items or armored personnel carriers to Indonesia
. The congressional provision expands that to cover U.S. lethal equipment or helicopters.
The United States say they have a long and close relationship with Indonesia but they are concerned about the conduct of Indonesian troops in East Timor who behave like an occupying force. The Indonesian government of Suharto canceled a plan to buy nine U.S. F-16 fighters last June because of criticism of its human rights record.