Subject: RT: Cambodia to offer troops for East Timor

Cambodia to offer troops for East Timor

Thursday October 12, 2006

CANBERRA - Cambodia was prepared to send troops to East Timor to help with peacekeeping duties, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday after talks with his Australian counterpart John Howard in Canberra.

He said the deployment would be the country's second commitment to peacekeeping duties after it sent troops to Sudan to help clear land mines.

"This morning, during discussions with His Excellency John Howard, Cambodia also said it was prepared to send its gendarmerie, its troops, to East Timor in the near future," he said through an interpreter in a speech to a state lunch at Parliament House.

He gave no further details of the deployment.

Australia led a force of 3200 foreign peacekeepers to East Timor in late May to quell fighting that pitted East Timor's police and military against one another.

East Timor has asked the United Nations for at least 800 police to help stabilise the country for a period of five years.

Hun Sen was in Australia for talks with Howard, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Justice Minister Chris Ellison, and to sign a new prisoner exchange agreement between.

Australia used the visit to announce a A$30 million ($34.24 million) grant over five years from 2007 to help build Cambodia's criminal justice system.

There are 13 Cambodians in prison in Australia and five Australians in prison in Cambodia.


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