Subject: AAP: Australia welcomes East Timor to United Nations

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

AAP Newsfeed September 28, 2002

Australia welcomes East Timor to United Nations


Australia today welcomed East Timor to the United Nations following its formal admission to the world body.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australia, with Portugal and Indonesia, was a lead sponsor of the UN General Assembly resolution admitting East Timor.

Mr Downer said East Timor's successful transition to independence and now membership of the world body had been made possible through the leadership of the UN and hard work of Australia and East Timor's other international friends.

"I had the great pleasure of travelling to Dili with the prime minister and others for East Timor's independence celebrations in May," he said in a statement.

"East Timor's admission to the UN marks significant progress in the new nation's integration with the international community.

"Australia is delighted to see East Timor take its place on the world stage."

Mr Downer said he was pleased the fledgling nation was actively pursuing engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.

He said East Timor would join Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines at the inaugural South West Pacific Dialogue Ministerial Meeting hosted by Indonesia in Yogyakarta next week.

Mr Downer said East Timor's participation in the dialogue signalled the start of a new chapter in regional relations.

"Australia is committed to supporting East Timor as it reaches its full potential as an independent and successful nation, actively engaged in regional and global affairs," he said.

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