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Greens say Goff must put pressure on Indonesia

Greens say Goff must put pressure on Indonesia

Pressure must be put on the Indonesian government to deal with rogue military elements in West Timor after the killing of a New Zealand soldier on peace-keeping duty, Green MP Keith Locke said today.

"The tragic killing of Private Manning should provoke a strong political response," said Mr Locke, the Green's Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

"This week's meeting between Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr Alwi Shihab is the perfect opportunity to communicate New Zealand's stance."

"Dr Shihab must be told bluntly that cross-border operations by military elements in West Timor are not acceptable.

"Good relations between Indonesia and the world community depend on how seriously President Wahid deals with this major threat to peace and security to East Timor."

According to the UN High Commission on Refugees, militia gangs still run the large refugee camps in West Timor, and continue to be armed and trained by the Indonesian army.

"Up to 12,000 East Timorese still languish in refugee camps in West Timor, many of them prevented by militia threats from returning home.

"It's clear that many Indonesian military officers still want to punish East Timor for choosing independence.

"We must work closely with the UN to identify those officers directing this campaign and push for their removal.

Keith Locke MP: 04 470 6710 or 025 528 353 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

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