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New Zealand To Send Representative To East Timor

New Zealand’s Representative to East Timor will be career foreign service officer Jonathan Austin, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Dr Austin will take up this new position in November, when New Zealand’s Liaison Office to the East Timor Transitional Administration opens.

“New Zealand is committed to helping East Timor’s nation building process, which is at a critical stage. Having a New Zealand Government representative based in Dili, on top of our existing peacekeeping and aid contributions, will enhance New Zealand’s ability to help the East Timorese build a democratic and stable independent nation,” Mr Goff said.

“Dr Austin is currently New Zealand’s Deputy High Commissioner to Tonga. His developing country and aid programme management experience make him well suited to this important assignment."

The New Zealand Office in East Timor will manage New Zealand aid to East Timor and enhance New Zealand’s links with East Timorese leaders and key United Nations officials. The office will operate during the United Nations administration period, which will continue until East Timor becomes fully independent. This is expected in late 2001.

ENDS


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