Subject: Australia, East Timor hold talks on security and labour

Australia, East Timor hold talks on security and labour

Last Updated: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 13:32:00 +1100

Security issues and access to Australia for East Timorese workers are expected to dominate talks today between the two countries' foreign ministers.

Radio Australia's Canberra correspondent Linda Mottram says East Timorese Foreign minister Zacarias da Costa will meet his Australian countpart Stephen Smith for the talks in the Australian capital Canberra.

Their discussions are being held one year after the near-fatal shooting of East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta, and an attempt on the life of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

Security concerns remain key for both governments, with Australia continuing to head the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor.

While the overall situation has improved, the International Crisis Group says East Timor's army has yet to undergo necessary reforms, and is increasingly unaccountable for its actions.

Our correspondent says Mr da Costa is also expected to press for Australia to allow East Timorese workers to join its trial temporary scheme for Pacific workers.

Mr da Costa and Mr Smith are also due to hold three-way talks with the Portuguese foreign minister, Luis Amado, who is on a visit to Australia.

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