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ADF well prepared and well suited to protect UN.

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Hon Stephen Martin MP

Shadow Minister for Defence

Federal Member for Cunningham


7 July 1999


ADF well prepared and well suited to protect UN


The Shadow Minister for Defence, Stephen Martin, today said that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is well pr epared and well suited for any United Nations peace keeping operations in East Timor.


Mr Martin’s comments follow the recent attacks on UN personnel currently serving In East Timor, including a contingent of unarmed Australian police officers acting as advisers.


Mr Martin is currently touring Defence bases in the Northern Territory, including Robertson Barracks where the new combat ready 1st Brigade is based.


“The Australian Defence Force is well experienced in peace keeping operations and well equipped to undertake operations in East Timor," Mr Martin Said.


“Minister Moore needs to ensure that the ADF is ready to deploy to East Timor the minute Alexander Downer gets around to making a decision and gets UN endorsement


“Labor has had an in principal commitment to sending ADF troops to East Timor as part of any UN peace keeping operation. We have led the way on this Issue on to be disappointed by the Government’s performance.


“It is very concerning to see unarmed UN personnel coming under attack in the province and it is time for Government to seriously reassess the situation. It is clear that the Indonesian armed forces are unable to properly protect those personnel.


“I hope that the Minister for Defence is able to perform to a higher standard on this issue than is Foreign Affairs colleague has done to date,” Mr Martin said.



More information: Amanda Forman on 0413 602 230.



al  1999-07-08  11:26