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East Timorese can focus on the future - McKinnon

McKinnon says now East Timorese can focus on the future

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon today welcomed the Indonesian Parliament's decision to revoke the decree incorporating East Timor into Indonesia, thereby opening the way for East Timor's transition to independence.

"New Zealand congratulates the Indonesian Assembly for taking this step".

"On 30 August the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence," Mr McKinnon said.

"They can now focus on their future and, with the support of the international community, return to their home areas and look forward to rebuilding their country."

Mr McKinnon said New Zealand will continue to play its part as the responsibility for East Timor passes from Indonesia to the United Nations.

"We can be proud of all New Zealanders who have worked in East Timor, including the New Zealand Defence Force, police and NGO representatives, for their commitment and contribution."

"The Government will now be discussing with relevant authorities and NGOs how our aid effort can best assist the people of East Timor to rebuild their shattered land."


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