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NZ To Send Observers For East Timor Ballot

22 June 1999

MEDIA STATEMENT
For Immediate Release

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon today announced that New Zealand would send a small group of people to East Timor to observe and monitor the United Nations sponsored ballot on East Timor's future.

"I am talking to the major political parties about nominations they may wish to make for people to undertake this mission in East Timor, and I anticipate announcing who will be going shortly."

Mr McKinnon said that the observer group would probably include New Zealand MP's.

"I have had expressions of interest from some MPs, and they will be considered along with other nominations I have received.

"It is important that New Zealand continues to show its commitment to a free and fair ballot in East Timor.

"With 10 New Zealand police officers already in East Timor and five Defence Force personnel and two electoral experts ready to depart, sending people specifically dedicated to monitoring the ballot will further signal New Zealand's commitment to a peaceful resolution to the East Timor issue," Mr McKinnon said.

ENDS

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