Subject: UN envoy: Timor Leste needs greater assistance from Indonesia

06/26/07 18:46

UN envoy: Timor Leste needs greater assistance from Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has been assisting Timor Leste all along but greater assistance is expected for the tiny country, especially in the development of human resources capacity and police training, according to a United Nations (UN) official.

Timor Leste students in Indonesia should continue their studies and when they go back to Timor Leste, they could help develop their country, Dr. Atul Khare, the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative for Timor Leste and head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT) said here on Tuesday.

Khare said Indonesia had helped train Timor Leste`s policemen and provided scholarships for Timor Leste students. The assistance was very useful and should be continued, he said.

"And as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council Indonesia can assist UNMIT when discussions on Timor Leste take place in the Council," Khare said.

As the only land neighbor of Timor Leste, Indonesia played a very important role in helping its newly independent neighbor achieve welfare and stability, Dr. Khare stated.

"Indonesia is very important for Timor Leste. The fact that early this month President Horta made his first official visit abroad to Indonesia reflects its importance," he said.

He noted Indonesia had helped Timor Leste a lot in April-May 2006 by keeping its border with Timor Leste under tight control when the tiny country was hit by armed conflict.

Dr. Khare said in his upcoming meetings with Indonesian high-ranking officials on Wednesday (June 27), he would express gratitude for Indonesia`s support to Timor Leste so far.

The UN Secretary General`s Special Representative is on a visit to Jakarta from June 26 to 27. He is scheduled to meet with among others Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Hasan Wirajuda and National Military (TNI) Chief Marshal Djoko Suyanto.

Utal Khare said that last Saturday he and Indonesia?s ambassador to Timor Leste witnessed the arrival of ballot papers printed in Surabaya, capital of Indonesia`s East Java province. The ballot papers would be used in Timor Leste?s parliamentarian elections due to be held on June 30.

The fact that the ballot papers were printed by an Indonesian company was of historical and psychological significance for both countries` relations, he said.

Timor Leste which is still facing a number of challenges in its development and democracy, needs continued assistance from the UN, as well as bilateral and multilateral parties, he said.

The challenges the tiny country was facing included the need to strengthen the rule of law, to reform its security sector, to strengthen governance and intensify social and economic development, he said.

A new United Nations report said recently that one in five people in East Timor needs food assistance, blaming crop losses on persistent drought and locust plagues.

From Jakarta, Dr. Atul Khare, an Indian veteran of United Nations operations in Timor-Leste, would go back to Dili to witness the parliamentarian elections.

Dr. Khare said Indonesia was the second country he visited after Portugal, apart from Timor Leste, since he has appointed in December 2006 as the UN Secretary General`s special representative for Timor Leste. (*)

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