Subject: LUSA: Australian police on standby for crisis situations - PM Howard

03-02-2004 12:28:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-5794673 Temas: East Timor: Australian police on standby for crisis situations - PM Howard

Dili, Feb. 3 (Lusa) - East Timor figures on a list of Pacific island states where a special Australian police unit could intervene to help resolve crises, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has reportedly said.

The Salomon Islands and Papua-New Guinea are other neighbors where Australian police could be deployed, the online edition of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited Howard Monday as saying.

"Many of these countries are in greater need of trained and prepared police units than of soldiers", Howard said.

"One of the best things Australia can do, on a professional basis", he added, "is guarantee an effective police presence in these countries".

Dili has urged the United Nations to maintain at least some police forces in East Timor after the scheduled May 20 end of its current UNMISET mission mandate.

Australian and Portuguese police have contributed to UNMISET's CivPol civilian police force.


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