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Clark: APEC leaders should discuss East Timor

Labour
2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark today strongly endorsed the proposal of the Canadian foreign minister to have the APEC meetings in Auckland address the issues in East Timor.

Helen Clark said it was clear that the Indonesian authorities were not exercising proper control in east Timor.

"The APEC leaders' meeting is timely. There will be concern right around the Asia Pacific region about the deteriorating security in east Timor. The leaders' meeting is an excellent opportunity for it to be made known to Indonesia that the region expects it to uphold the result of the referendum and ensure that order is maintained.

"The National Party has long sought to confine the APEC agenda to narrow economic issues. That is inappropriate. APEC provides the only regular meeting ground for leaders from the whole region and its agenda should not be narrowly prescribed.

"It is to be hoped that the New Zealand Government will support the Canadian foreign minister's call and take this issue seriously," Helen Clark said.

Contact: Mark Watts (press secretary), 04 471 9477 or 025 422 734

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