Subject: AFP: Downer looks to France for UN resolution on E Timor

Downer looks to France for UN resolution on E Timor

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is talking with French leaders about drafting a UN resolution to help bring stability and peace to East Timor.

Mr Downer told journalists in Paris that he was holding discussions with his counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, on the issue.

"With the French, what we want them to do is support an appropriate UN Security Council resolution," he said.

"We would be looking to the French for support for a UN mission which would provide assistance in the process of reconciliation, which is in urgent need in East Timor."

Such assistance would include helping the country improve the administration of its government and provide a mandate for 500 international police, he said.

"I understand that the French Government is sympathetic to this kind of idea," Mr Downer said.

More than 2,200 troops and police from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal are currently in East Timor struggling to restore order.

They were deployed after an explosion of violence triggered by East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's decision in March to sack 600 soldiers.

At least 21 people have been killed and over 130,000 people fled their homes.


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