Subject: LUSA: UN backing needed until 2011, says new PM

10-07-2006 13:54:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8158742 Temas:

East Timor: UN backing needed until 2011, says new PM

Dili, July 10 (Lusa) - Prime Minister José Ramos Horta said Monday that East Timor needs ongoing assistance from the United Nations until 2011 to support its fragile institutions, criticizing the world body for pulling out of the new nation only two years after its bloody breakaway from Indonesian rule.

Speaking after being appointed in a move aimed to restore stability and peace to Timor after months of communal fighting and clashes between rival army and police factions, Ramos Horta said a new UN mission, with peacekeepers and advisers to support the new nation's administration and state institutions "will have to stay for at least five years".

The Security Council meets August to decide the form of a new mission to Timor, based on a report by British diplomat Ian Martin, special envoy of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who wound up a two- week fact-finding trip to the new nation Monday, noted Ramos Horta.

The four-nation, Australian-led international peacekeeping force currently in Timor under bilateral accords with Dili could be incorporated into the future "blue beret" peacekeeping force, said Dili's new head of government.

Ramos Horta went on to accuse the UN of withdrawing from Timor too soon after its independence vote against Indonesian occupation in 1999, when the world body's handover administration concluded in May 2002 with Timor's independence.

"Is it possible to build a new nation in two years? The answer is no, but the Security Council had other concerns and priorities", he said, noting that many "patriotic" Timorese had thought a 24-month transition period to be too long.

Moving on to discuss the wider goals of his government, due to be appointed Wednesday, Ramos Horta said apart from the consolidation of security, the ratification on the Timor Sea oil exploration accord with Australia was a priority, but "not an immediate one".

"We are interested in the ratification as it is Timor's credibility that is at state. But this doens't just depend on the government. It depends on parliament".

Timor's state budget is another matter that will be urgently discussed during the first cabinet meeting of the incoming government on Wednesday, said Ramos Horta.

Timor's new government will also take measures to simplify laws affecting business, including public tenders, and work to cut unnecessary red tape in the country so that these hurdles do not become hurdles to development he added.



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