11 February 1999: Action memorandum for the minister of foreign affairs

Those recommendations were soon strengthened as DFAIT finally proved willing to put into writing the support for self-determination that Chan had already promised in 19998, but that the department had resisted for years. In addition to the call for a UN presence on the ground, DFAIT’s revised memorandum also called for concrete Canadian support for peace in East Timor. Although Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer had formally supported self-determination, the memorandum noted, he and his government were still “continuing to discourage independence.” The United States view, for the moment, seemed to be to take a back seat and avoid involvement.

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