Subject: ABC: East Timor disputes Australian travel warning

ABC: Australian Government stands by East Timor travel advisory

08/07/2003 15:01:31 | ABC Radio Australia News

East Timor disputes Australian travel warning

East Timor's foreign affairs minister, Jose Ramos Horta, has criticised the Australian government over its travel warnings to people intending to travel to the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade currently advises Australians travelling to East Timor to exercise extreme caution in light of possible terrorist threats.

The travel alert says the department continues to receive reports that terrorist elements in the region are planning attacks.

Mr Ramos Horta says he disagrees with the advice.

He says he has been tempted to issue a warning in East Timor about travelling in Australia and the United States.

"I think my office should, will also, start issuing travel warnings about Australia and the United States and I know of few places in Australia I would advise my people not to go," he said.

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Australian Government stands by East Timor travel advisory

The Australian Government is standing by its travel warning for people planning to visit East Timor, after the country's Foreign Affairs Minister criticised the content of the alert.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians travelling to East Timor to exercise extreme caution in light of possible terrorist threats.

East Timor's Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Ramos Horta has disagreed with the warning and says he is tempted to issue his own advice to East Timorese residents not to travel to Australia.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chris Gallus says the advice is sensible and won't be changed.

"This has been the same travel advice that has been up for the last three months," she said.

"And of course around the region at the moment we are very well aware that there are terrorist threats of various kinds from various groups around the region and that is why we have this regional warning which is to be cautious."

08/07/2003 22:20:33 | ABC Radio Australia News


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