INDONESIA'S President Suharto struck a conciliatory note in regard to East Timor yesterday, saying he was willing to meet with exiled leaders of the disputed territory.
The Indonesian envoy for East Timor, Lopes da Cruz, met for a second round of talks with Portugal-based East Timor leader Abilio de Araujo in London between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. He reported Suharto as having said that more East Timorese needed to be involved in talks.
Mr. Da Cruz also quoted Suharto as saying East Timor could be granted autonomy, but it would be within the Indonesian context of being a part of the archipelago.
The remarks came just days before Suharto is to host the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Airport gets lift in Hong Kong
FTER years of wrangling, Britain and China announced an agreement yesterday on financing Hong Kong's new $20-billion airport.
A government statement said British and Chinese officials would meet today to sign an accord on ``the overall financing arrangements.''
Britain and China agreed in 1991 on the need for a new airport, but disagreed over funding.
China's approval is necessary because money borrowed for the offshore plan will be paid back after 1997, when the island reverts to Chinese ownership.
But it was unclear whether the agreement would help repair ties between China and Britain, which have been damaged by ongoing disputes over electoral reforms.