Subject: AFP: East Timor asks Japan to support continued UN peacekeeping mission

East Timor asks Japan to support continued UN peacekeeping mission

East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta has asked for Japan's support to extend the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in the country which became independent from Indonesia in 1999.

Mr Ramos-Horta told Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura in Tokyo that his nation wants the UN peacekeepers to stay on a smaller scale, according to a Japanese official.

Mr Machimura promised he would consider the request, the official said.

The talks came after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday asked the Security Council to extend a scaled-down peacekeeping mission in East Timor for one year until May 2006.

Mr Ramos-Horta also expressed East Timor's support for Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the official said.

Japan has taken a prominent role in assistance to East Timor, sending peacekeepers and hosting a 1999 donors conference.

-AFP

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East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta on Friday indicated his country's support for Japan's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

February 25, 2005 4:19pm Asia Intelligence Wire Advertisement

In a meeting here with Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, Ramos-Horta said East Timor backs Japan's stance on U.N. reforms.

He said East Timor hopes that the United Nations will extend its support mission in the country beyond its scheduled end on May 20 by scaling it down.

Machimura replied that the request should be considered on a positive note.

The U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor, headed by Sukehiro Hasegawa of Japan, is helping maintain security in East Timor and improve the nation's capabilities to provide administrative services, following its independence from Indonesia in May 2002. Hasegawa is a special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.


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