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Visit to East Timor.



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PRIME MINISTER

VISIT TO EAST TIMOR

I am pleased to announce that I will visit East Timor on 26 July 2007. My visit will be an important opportunity to engage with East Timorese leaders after the recent parliamentary elections.

I intend to meet President Ramos-Horta, Interim Prime Minister da Silva and United Nations Special Representative Dr Atul Khare to discuss the political, security and development issues facing the country.

My Government is proud, through its leadership of the INTERFET coalition in 1999, to have played a part in restoring stability in East Timor and supporting the efforts of the East Timorese people to achieve independence. We remain committed to supporting the East Timorese people as they go about the difficult and demanding task of building a sustainable, democratic and prosperous future.

The Australian military and police contingent in East Timor made an important contribution to the peaceful conduct of East Timor’s recent presidential and parliamentary elections, and continues to play a crucial role in providing security. I look forward to meeting these dedicated young Australians and, on behalf of all Australians, acknowledging their contribution.

25 July 2007