Subject: AU: UN backs Australian plan for bigger East Timor force
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 12:15:00 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

The Australian 9 August 99

UN backs Australian plan for bigger East Timor force

>From AFP

The UN will press Indonesia to accept Australian proposals to boost the international security force in East Timor after this month's scheduled independence ballot, officials have said.

The proposals would mean doubling the existing UN police force with an extra 200 to 300 officers and raising the military strength from 50 advisers to between 250 and 350. Officials in Canberra confirmed a report that Australia had won the backing of key UN members, including the US, for its proposals after weeks of talks at UN headquarters in New York.

Australia is expected to provide up to a third of the extra forces, which would be in place by the ballot. The Indonesian Government is understood to have tacitly approved the plan after being convinced of its merits during talks in Jakarta with Alexander Downer.

The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, argued the UN force would have to be beefed up after the ballot in order to fulfil its Security Council mandate to advise local security forces and oversee Indonesian efforts to maintain peace.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year. The UN has never recognised the move.

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