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Peters names new Ambassador to Timor-Leste

Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs

08 November 2005

Peters names new Ambassador to Timor-Leste

New Zealand’s first ambassador to Timor-Leste will be career diplomat Ruth Nuttall, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

"The upgrading of our consulate-general to a full embassy and the assignment of our first resident ambassador reflect our commitment to Timor-Leste as it develops and defines its place in the Asia-Pacific community," Mr Peters said.

"New Zealand has strongly supported Timor-Leste’s independence and emergence as a stable sovereign nation. Our major contribution to United Nations’ Peacekeeping operations over three years has generated huge goodwill toward New Zealand.

"Our current support includes a growing NZAID programme, which will reach $5million a year by 2008, and support for the Timor-Leste Defence Force through the recently-established NZ Defence Force Mutual Assistance Programme.

"As Timor-Leste continues to find its feet on the world stage there will be new opportunities for political and economic engagement. A fully-fledged embassy will be well placed to capitalise on those opportunities," Mr Peters said.

Ms Nuttall joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1980 and has extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific region, including as Deputy Director of the South East Asia Division. She will take up her assignment in December.

Her previous overseas assignments have included Jakarta, The Hague, Canberra, and most recently as Deputy Head of Mission in Beijing.

ENDS


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