Subject: US denies cutting E Timor aid

[Poster's note: The administration has requested US$13.5 million in economic support for East Timor for 2004. For FY 2003 the US$25 million was appropriated. Congress will determine the final figure.]

Herald Sun [Australia] April 26, 2003

US denies cutting E Timor aid

From correspondents in Washington

THE United States today denied a report that it was thinking of cutting aid to East Timor by 40 per cent to divert the funds to the operation to rebuild Iraq.

"Our economic support to East Timor is not decreasing," said the US State Department in a written answer to a question taken at spokesman Richard Boucher's daily press briefing. "We provided $US25 million ($40.69 million) in foreign assistance to East Timor in 2002 and are providing $US25 million ($40.69 million) in 2003.

"This is the largest US aid program in East Asia on a per capita basis."

The report, out of Tokyo, quoted East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta as saying that US officials were considering cutting aid to East Timor by 40 per cent.

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