This paper uses declassified diplomatic records to examine the background to Australia's decision to formally recognise Indonesia's annexation of East Timor, announced in a media statement by Australia's Foreign Minister, Andrew Peacock, on 20 January 1978. Peacock's statement linked the decision to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over East Tim or to Australia's ability to deal directly with the Indonesian government in relation to reuniting Timorese families and 'the rehabilitation of Timor'. However, a review of the diplomatic records and, most significantly, cabinet records concerning the decision, reveals that Peacock's announcement that Australia would no longer sustain 'public objection to the integration of East Timor into Indonesia,' was directly linked to Australia's intention to enter negotiations with Indonesia to complete the demarcation of the seabed boundary between Australia and East Timor. Logically, and according to international law, entering into seabed negotiations with Indonesia concerning waters south of East Timor, necessarily involved Australia recognising Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor.
|Title of host publication||Timor-Leste:|
|Subtitle of host publication||The local, the regional and the global|
|Editors||Sarah Smith, Antero B. da Silva, Nun Canas Mendes, Alarico da Costa Ximenes, Clinton Fernandes, Michael Leach|
|Place of Publication||Timor-Leste|
|Publisher||Timor-Leste Studies Association|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|