Subject: The Portugal News Online: Portugal ready to keep GNR police forces in Timor

The Portugal News Online

Portugal ready to keep GNR police forces in Timor


Internal Administration Minister Rui Pereira has reaffirmed Portugal's readiness to continue aiding East Timor with security regardless of whether the United Nations extends its mission to Dili next year.

Minister Pereira underlined the Government's openness to continued security aid in a ceremony marking the departure of a 125-member contingent of paramilitary GNR police rotating into East Timor.

"The Prime Minister has shown he is receptive to the continuation [of the GNR], but naturally a more precise evaluation must be made in February 2009 when we see whether the UN will remain and what the situation is in East Timor for a definitive evaluation", he said.

The mandate of the UN mission, of which Portugal's GNR deployment is a part, is set to expire next February.

Timorese President José Ramos Horta met with Prime Minister José Sócrates in Lisbon last Monday, later saying the Portuguese leader had accepted his request to plead Dili's case before the UN and keep the Republican National Guard (GNR) in place unilaterally if needed.

Dili wants the UN to extend the life of UNMIT's aid and peacekeeping mandate. TPN/Lusa

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