Written Answers. - Asia-Europe Meeting.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

51 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will raise, in the presence of the representatives of Indonesia, the genocidal occupation of East Timor by the Indonesian Government, during his attendance at the ASEM conference of Asian and European leaders in London on 4 April 1998. [8071/98]

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

66 Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he proposes raising with the Indonesian representatives at the ASEM meeting in London on 4 April 1998 the continuing occupation and the human rights situation in East Timor. [8072/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 66 together.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a partnership which commenced formally at Bangkok two years ago; it is aimed at strengthening links between Asia and Europe thereby contributing to peace, global stability and prosperity.

The second ASEM summit is due to take place in London this week and will be chaired by Prime Minister Blair. It will be attended by the Heads of State or Government of seven ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea and the 15 European Union member states together with the President of the European Commission.

There is no formal agenda for the ASEM summit but it is understood that a wide range of issues covering political, economic and cultural issues will be discussed at the meeting. It is unlikely that the question of East Timor will be raised during the plenary sessions but it is hoped that it will be possible to arrange a bilteral meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Mr. Ali Alatas. It is intended to convey very firmly to Mr. Alatas, at such a meeting, the Government's views on the subject of East Timor, based on the EU Common Position adopted on 25 June 1996.