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Nats Support Longer Deployment In East Timor

Opposition Supports NZ Soldiers' Longer Deployment In East Timor

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley fully supports the continued deployment of New Zealand troops in East Timor.

"Our soldiers are doing a great job in East Timor and it is very clear that it will last for some time to come.

"It is vital that we continue the task, in close co-operation with Australia.

"This matter was discussed fully in my talks last week with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer.

"As well as working closely with Australia it is also vital that we work hard on the redevelopment of infrastructure in East Timor, and on training of the East Timorese services, so that they will be well equipped to take over once the time does come for the withdrawal of international forces.

"I trust New Zealand Ministers will turn their attention to how this can be achieved so that our troops can pull out in due course when the safety of the East Timorese people can be assured.

"We will have to help make sure their institutions and services are in a position to cope," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends


A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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