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Diplomatic Manoeuvres Over Timor Draft Resolution

The Security Council in the UN has dropped a reference to an inquiry into abuses of human rights from its draft resolution to set up a UN administration in East Timor. John Howard reports.

Two paragraphs were dropped at the insistence of China, diplomats said after consultations hosted by the British delegation to the UN, which drafted the text.

China's objections had meant that a vote on the resolution to set up the UN Transitional Authority (UNTAET) could be delayed.

China is one of the five permanent members of the Council and therefore has the right to veto its resolutions. The Council is now expected to vote Saturday (NZ time)

Diplomats said that China had "serious difficulties" with a paragraph calling on all parties "to cooperate with the international commission of inquiry established by the Secretary General."

Deletion of the paragraphs does not affect the composition of UNTAET, neither can it prevent the work of the commission of inquiry into abuses of human rights in East Timor, which was appointed on October 15.

The deletion does mean, however, that any party does not have to compulsorily cooperate with the inquiry under the UN resolution.

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