Subject: ABC: E Timor to receive funding for national police force

East Timor to receive funding for national police force

Australia has pledged $A40 million ($US26 million) towards the training and development of a national police force in East Timor.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, has given the commitment during a meeting in Adelaide with his East Timorese counterpart, Jose Ramos-Horta.

There are currently 1,000 UN peacekeepers in East Timor.

The number will be more than halved by the end of the year and then they will be withdrawn by the middle of next year.

Mr Downer says Australia's expertise in policing will improve and develop existing resources in East Timor.

"This $A40 million will be spent over four years obviously averaging $A10 million a year and it will involve Australian Federal Police helping to train the East Timorese working on both basic training and more sophisticated training," he said.

25/08/2003 17:26:27 | ABC Radio Australia News

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