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Wednesday, November 10, 1999, updated at 11:17(GMT+8)
World Indonesian President Visits Philippines

Philippine President Joseph Estrada on November 9 met with his Indonesian counterpart Abdurrahman Wahid who arrived here for a brief visit earlier in the day.

Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora told reporters after the meeting that while the "getting-to-know-you" meeting lasted less than an hour, the two leaders instantly established rapport with each other.

He said the two leaders agreed to adopt "pretty common positions" on many things, including the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Mindanao and East Timor.

According to Zamora, Wahid expressed his strong hope that the conflict in East Timor would be "peacefully settled."

"(Wahid) does not want to send in the military just to settle this dispute," Zamora said, adding that Indonesia is "very appreciative of what we have been doing" to help restore peace in East Timor.

For his part, Estrada voiced his hope that such efforts will continue, particularly in the government's ongoing peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), now the largest rebel group in the southern Philippines.

To highlight Indonesia's full support for the Philippine government's efforts to bring genuine and lasting peace to Mindanao, Wahid readily accepted an invitation by Estrada to go there and see the situation for himself when he returns for an extended visit.

The Philippines is the last leg of Wahid's ASEAN tour, which has already taken him to Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

After his meeting with Estrada, Wahid would leave for home, press reports here said.

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