Subject: East Timor Foreign Minister: UN Should Administer Postwar Iraq

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Associated Press April 14, 2003

East Timor Foreign Min: UN Should Administer Postwar Iraq

DILI, East Timor (AP)--East Timor's foreign minister praised coalition forces Monday for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein, but said the United Nations should administer postwar Iraq just as the world body helped prepare his country for independence last year.

"Today, they are celebrating in Baghdad and Basra," said Nobel peace laureate and Foreign Minster Jose Ramos-Horta after returning to Dili from a two-month tour of the U.S. and Europe.

East Timor - which last year gained independence from Indonesia after a 24-year military occupation - has been one of the few Asian countries to openly support the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

"Saddam Hussein, one of the biggest dictators of the last century, has been brought down," Ramos-Horta said.

But he called on the United Nations to oversee the rebuilding of Iraq and said East Timor was opposed to the U.S. and its allies forming a post-Saddam government.

"The United States should not establish any government in Iraq," Ramos-Horta said. "Now, Iraqis must be given the chance to choose their own future in a democratic way."

The United Nations ran East Timor from August 1999, when its people voted to break with Indonesia, until its formal independence in May 2002.

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