Subject: Lusa: Australia wants more UN, more int'l police in Dili

East Timor: Australia wants more UN, more int'l police in Dili

Dili, June 3 (Lusa) - Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer called Saturday for greater United Nations engagement and for an increased international police presence in East Timor.

Downer made his appeal at a Dili news conference at the close of a blitz five-hour visit during which he held separate talks with President Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta and special UN envoy Ian Martin.

"The United Nations must re-enforce its presence, working on reconciliation and in training Timorese police so they can return to their work", Downer said.

"I think an international police presence would be appropriate for some time", he said, adding that, as additional foreign police forces arrive, "there will be a decrease in the military presence", currently largely constituted of a 1,800-strong Australian contingent.

He said he had gleaned "some ideas" from his Dili visit that he would share with the UN Security Council and the council's member countries.

Asked to react to demands by some Timorese forces for Alkatiri's resignation as prime minister, Downer declined comment, saying "this is there problem".

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been pointed in earlier criticism of Alkatiri's "poor governance", comments that led Lisbon to charge Canberra was unacceptably "interfering" in East Timor's internal affairs.



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