Australia drafts French help for East Timor peace

20th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - Australia is talking with France about drafting a UN resolution to help bring stability and peace to the restive southeast Asian state of East Timor, its foreign minister said Tuesday.

PARIS, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - Australia is talking with France about drafting a UN resolution to help bring stability and peace to the restive southeast Asian state of East Timor, its foreign minister said Tuesday.

Alexander Downer told journalists in Paris that he was holding discussions with his French counterpart, Philippe Douste-Blazy, and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, on the issue.

With the French what we want them to do is support an appropriate UN Security Council resolution," he said.

"We would be looking to the French for support for a UN mission which would provide assistance in the process of reconciliation, which is in urgent need in East Timor."

Such assistance would include helping the country improve the administration of its government and provide a mandate for 500 international police, he said.

"I understand that the French government is sympathetic to this kind of idea," Downer said.

More than 2,200 troops and police from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal are currently in East Timor struggling to restore order.

They were deployed after an explosion of violence triggered by East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's decision in March to sack 600 soldiers. At least 21 people were killed and over 130,000 people fled their homes.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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