Subject: LUSA: UN team preps report on future UN structure, commitments

12-01-2004 11:48:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-5744818 Temas: East Timor: UN team preps report on future UN structure, commitments

Dili, Jan. 12 (Lusa) - A United Nations' technical team began discussions Monday with East Timorese leaders on the shape of the UN's engagement with Dili following the end of its UNMISET mission in May.

The eight-member team, led by Julian Harspon, is expected to remain in East Timor through Jan. 20, holding talks with the country's senior leaders and non-governmental organizations, to prepare a report and recommendations for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Annan is expected to present a report on East Timor in February to the Security Council, which should take a decision in March.

The council and international community appear divided on the character and size of the future UN presence, following the May 31 end of the UN Mission in Support of East Timor (UNMISET).

While a consensus appears to have emerged that the UN should extend its presence in some form, likely through a predominantly civilian structure, Dili has pressed for the continued deployment of a security presence of some kind.

Senior Timorese officials have asked that the UN maintain a rapid-deployment police force and, possibily, military observers through 2006.

UNMISET currently has a pruned-back peacekeeping force of 1,750 "blue helmets", including a Portuguese battalion.


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