Subject: ABC: Bishop Belo endorses UN remaining in East Timor

East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bishop Carlos Belo, has urged the United Nations to extend its mandate in his country beyond June 2004.

He says armed militias are still active in areas just across the border with Indonesia, and remain a threat to East Timor.

Bishop Belo was speaking in the northern Portuguese town of Vila Real, from which about 500 soldiers will depart for East Timor on January 17th to join a UN peacekeeping force for six months.

The UN force includes 440 Australian troops.

Last mlonth Australia said it would keep its troops in East Timor until the country was considered stable.

UN membership for Indonesia

Meanwhile, East Timor's foreign minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, says Indonesia - which brutally occupied his country for more than two decades - should be given a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The Nobel Peace laureate was speaking in Lisbon at a meeting of Portuguese diplomats.

Mr Ramos-Horta says the United States - as the sole global superpower - should push for changes to the UN's executive council.

07/01/2004 13:22:34 | ABC Radio Australia News

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