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Governor-General To Visit East Timor

Media release
1 February 2002

Governor-General To Visit East Timor

1 February 2002

The Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright will visit East Timor, 13-14 February, to meet New Zealand military and civilian personnel and East Timorese leaders.

The Governor-General’s visit takes place at a time when East Timor’s preparations for independence, due 20 May 2002, are intensifying.

“New Zealand is providing significant support for East Timor’s security, reconstruction and development. The United Nations values highly New Zealand’s peacekeeping role in East Timor. This is something all New Zealanders can be proud of,” Dame Silvia said.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to see what has been achieved in East Timor and to meeting New Zealanders, East Timorese and United Nations personnel who have contributed to those achievements,” she said.

The Governor-General will be accompanied by her husband, Peter Cartwright, and Air Commodore Bruce Fergusson, the Chief of Defence Force-designate.

The Government agreed late last year to a United Nations request to maintain its current peacekeeping commitment in East Timor until November next year.

“Our troops have been doing an outstanding job in East Timor as the country undergoes a transition to stable self-rule. I very much look forward to personally meeting the men and women of our Defence Force who are serving in East Timor,” Dame Silvia said.

The Governor-General will leave New Zealand on 12 February and travel to Darwin where she will stop overnight. She will proceed to Dili, East Timor, on 13 February .

The Governor-General’s programme includes official calls in Dili, visits to New Zealand Defence Force personnel in and around Dili and Cova Lima District, and participation in the opening of aid projects assisted by New Zealand Official Development Assistance and the New Zealand Defence Force.

For further enquiries contact:
Stefan Wolf
Public Affairs Officer
Government House

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