Subject: RT: Australia reopens E.Timor embassy after threat

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Australia reopens E.Timor embassy after threat

CANBERRA, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Australia reopened its embassy in East Timor on Monday after it was closed following a threat against Australian interests in the fledgling nation but said travellers should remain on alert.

"The embassy opened on a restricted basis with a skeleton staff today," a spokeswoman for the foreign affairs department in Canberra said.

She declined to comment on a threat received last week against Australian and U.N. interests in East Timor and would not say whether the threat had been resolved.

"Australians in East Timor are urged to maintain a high level of personal security awareness in light of the threat and to avoid public and religious gatherings," she said.

Australia's missions in Dili and Islamabad were closed last week and others in Singapore, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia operated on a restricted basis for several days as a precaution against possible violence a year after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The government has refused to disclose any details of the threat, but Australians have been advised to defer any plans to travel to East Timor, a tiny nation north of Australia that was declared formally independent from Indonesia in May.

The result of a 1999 referendum on independence was overwhelmingly in favour, sparking a bloody backlash by pro-Jakarta militias and some elements of the Indonesian armed forces.

About 2,000 Australians in East Timor, including about 1,200 troops forming part of a 5,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force, were advised to exercise extreme caution.

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