Subject: AFP: East Timor president says international forces still needed

East Timor president says international forces still needed

Time is GMT + 8 hours

Posted: 16-Nov-2007 02:55 hrs

East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta(R) talks with his Portuguese counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva during a welcoming ceremony at Lisbon's Belem palace. Ramos-Horta said Thursday that his country would need international forces to maintain security for "another few years", after talks here with his Portuguese counterpart.

East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta said Thursday that his country would need international forces to maintain security for "another few years", after talks here with his Portuguese counterpart.

"As long as I am not sure that our police have been reorganised, I cannot say that we no longer need the international forces," he said in an interview with Lusa news agency during a two-day official visit to Portugal.

"The situation is generally peaceful and quite calm, but it remains unstable because we depend on international forces to ensure our country's security."

Ramos-Horta said that former colonial power Portugal had a "central role" in the reorganisation of East Timor's security forces, which was "essential for the stability of the country and so we are no longer dependent on others".

East Timor was separated from Indonesia -- which had occupied it since 1975 -- in 1999 following an independence vote marred by violence inflicted by the Indonesian military and its militia allies.

It was placed under UN administration before finally achieving independence in May 2002, but for the past year has been destabilised by violence which necessitated the deployment of international forces, partly under a UN mandate.

East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta said Thursday that his country would need international forces to maintain security for "another few years", after talks here with his Portuguese counterpart.

"As long as I am not sure that our police have been reorganised, I cannot say that we no longer need the international forces," he said in an interview with Lusa news agency during a two-day official visit to Portugal.

"The situation is generally peaceful and quite calm, but it remains unstable because we depend on international forces to ensure our country's security."

Ramos-Horta said that former colonial power Portugal had a "central role" in the reorganisation of East Timor's security forces, which was "essential for the stability of the country and so we are no longer dependent on others".

East Timor was separated from Indonesia -- which had occupied it since 1975 -- in 1999 following an independence vote marred by violence inflicted by the Indonesian military and its militia allies.

It was placed under UN administration before finally achieving independence in May 2002, but for the past year has been destabilised by violence which necessitated the deployment of international forces, partly under a UN mandate.

East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta said Thursday that his country would need international forces to maintain security for "another few years", after talks here with his Portuguese counterpart.

"As long as I am not sure that our police have been reorganised, I cannot say that we no longer need the international forces," he said in an interview with Lusa news agency during a two-day official visit to Portugal.

"The situation is generally peaceful and quite calm, but it remains unstable because we depend on international forces to ensure our country's security."

Ramos-Horta said that former colonial power Portugal had a "central role" in the reorganisation of East Timor's security forces, which was "essential for the stability of the country and so we are no longer dependent on others".

East Timor was separated from Indonesia -- which had occupied it since 1975 -- in 1999 following an independence vote marred by violence inflicted by the Indonesian military and its militia allies.

It was placed under UN administration before finally achieving independence in May 2002, but for the past year has been destabilised by violence which necessitated the deployment of international forces, partly under a UN mandate.

Ramos-Horta met with his Portuguese counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva on Thursday, and is due on Friday to hold talks with Prime Minister Jose Socrates. ­ AFP


Back to November menu
October
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu