Subject: ABC: Aust, UN to sign security agreement with E Timor

ABC News Online

Last Update: Saturday, January 20, 2007. 1:01pm (AEDT)

Aust, UN to sign security agreement with E Timor

Australia, the United Nations (UN) and East Timor will soon sign a memorandum of understanding on security cooperation in East Timor.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has met with new UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in New York.

He says the two discussed a new security agreement covering Australian and international forces operating in East Timor.

"It doesn't change the nature of the force, but what it does is it puts on to a more formal setting the relationship between that force and the East Timorese and the United Nations, so I think that gives people greater comfort about how it'll all work, he said.

Mr Downer says he also discussed Iraq and encouraged the United Nation to mount a renewed effort to bring about political reconciliation in the war-torn country.

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