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Meeting with UNSG's Representative for East Timor

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. John Moore, MP Minister for Defence

Tuesday, 24 October 2000 MIN312/00

Meeting with UN Secretary-General's Representative for East Timor

The Minster for Defence, John Moore, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, today met with Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for East Timor.

During the meeting, they discussed the current security situation in East Timor, the contribution of the Australian Defence Force to the United Nations peacekeeping force, and the development of an East Timorese defence force.

Mr Moore praised Mr de Mello's leadership of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

"UNTAET's progress towards establishing an East Timorese state has been commendable, given the situation UNTAET inherited following the independence ballot in September last year.

"There was widespread destruction of property and infrastructure. The people were displaced with no homes to return to.

"Mr de Mello has done a difficult job in very difficult times and we thank him for the extremely positive role he has played in East Timor."

Before meeting with Mr Moore, Mr de Mello took part in activities marking United Nations Day, which included a remembrance service and parade at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

ENDS

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