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NZ sends NZDF planes and personnel to Darwin today

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

Friday, 26 May 2006 Media Statement

New Zealand sends NZDF planes and personnel to Darwin today

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced early this morning that the government is dispatching an RNZAF 757, a Hercules C130, and New Zealand army personnel to Darwin today.

Helen Clark said that the situation on the ground in Timor Leste had deteriorated seriously on Thursday with chaos and murders on the streets of the capital, Dili.

“The United Nations Security Council has made its concern clear and expressed its full understanding of the request made by the Timor Leste government for assistance to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Portugal.

“I have spoken late Thursday evening with the Secretary-General of the United Nations who has expressed his thanks to each of the four countries approached by Timor Leste for their willingness to assist.

“Given the distance of New Zealand from Timor, it is appropriate to position New Zealand airlift capacity in Darwin now, both to assist with evacuation if required, and with troop transport as required.

“The government has also authorised the positioning of a platoon in Darwin today, and has authorised the mobilisation of a company which is able to be positioned in Darwin in the coming days.

“New Zealand and Australian officials are continuing to talk with Timor Leste representatives about the details of engagement in Timor so that appropriate rules of engagement can be determined, Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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