RESEND: dateline corrected to Arusha, Tanzania: TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Arusha, Tanzania)

For Immediate Release                                        August 28,


                              August 25, 2000

Dear Mr. Speaker:   (Dear Mr. President:)

On October 8, 1999, I reported to the Congress, consistent with the War
Powers Resolution, the deployment of a limited number of U.S. military
forces to provide support to the International Force East Timor (INTERFET).
This multinational force, established by United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1264, was given a mandate to restore peace and security in East
Timor, protect and support the United Nations Mission in East Timor
(UNAMET), and, within force capabilities, facilitate humanitarian
assistance operations.  The U.S. support to INTERFET consisted of planning
and staff, communications, humanitarian, intelligence, and logistics
support (including theater and strategic lift).

The INTERFET was formally replaced in East Timor on February 23, 2000, by
the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
Consequently, the U.S. personnel who were the subject of my October 8,
1999, report redeployed from East Timor.  The UNTAET, which was established
by Security Council Resolution 1272, has a mandate that includes providing
security and main-taining law and order throughout East Timor; establishing
an effective administration; ensuring the coordi-nation and delivery of
humanitarian assistance; and supporting capacity-building for
self-government.  To implement this plan, the Security Council authorized
UNTAET to deploy up to 8,950 military personnel, 200 military observers,
and 1,640 civilian police.

The United States currently contributes three military observers to UNTAET.
These personnel are assigned to the United Nations pursuant to the United
Nations Participation Act (Public Law 79--264), and operate under U.N.
operational control.  During June and July 2000, the U.S. contribution to
UNTAET also included one judge advocate officer.



As I reported to the Congress on February 25, 2000, the United States also
maintains a credible and visible military presence in East Timor that is
separate from UNTAET.  This military presence consists of the U.S. Support
Group East Timor (USGET), comprised of approximately 30 U.S. personnel who
facilitate and coordinate U.S. military activities in East Timor, and the
rotational presence of U.S. forces through temporary
deployments to East Timor.  These rotational presence operations include
periodic ship visits during which U.S. forces conduct humanitarian and
civic assistance activities in areas critical to East Timor?s citizens.
United States forces, whether assigned to USGET or conducting rotational
presence operations, operate under U.S. command and control, and U.S. rules
of engagement.  The United Nations has indicated that East Timor has
benefited greatly from U.S. military deployments to, and engagement
activities in, East Timor and supports the continued U.S. presence there.

At this point, our rotational presence operations are envisioned to
continue through December 2000.  Future rotational presence operations will
likely include rotation of naval assets and embarked aircraft, and small
medical/dental and engineering civic action programs.  Certain of these
forces will be equipped with the normal complement of defensive weapons.
The duration of our support depends upon the course of events in East
Timor.  At present, it is my intention to continue operations generally at
the current levels to the end of the calendar year.  It is, however, our
objective to reduce the rotational presence operations, as well as to
redeploy USGET as soon as circumstances permit.

I have taken this action pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct
U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  I am
providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully
informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.  I appreciate the
support of the Congress in this action.


                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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