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East Timor

MEDIA RELEASE
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA 78 15 July 1999

East Timor - UN Secretary General's Decision To Proceed With Voter
Registration

I support the decision taken overnight by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan authorising the commencement of the voter registration process in East Timor on 16 July.

At the same time, however, the United Nations also continues to underline its serious concerns about the prevailing security environment in East Timor, and the need for the Indonesian Government to bring about an improvement on the ground. In this respect, Australia notes with interest recent indications of Indonesian responsiveness to these concerns - in particular the visit to Dili on 12 July by senior Indonesian ministers.

But a real improvement in the security climate is now needed to ensure that the UNAMET process stays on track.Australia and the United Nations remain fully committed to the consultation process and will continue to exert the maximum effort to see the ballot take place.

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