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Mckinnon Asked Not To Withdraw Police From Timor

Mckinnon Asked Not To Withdraw Kiwi Police From East Timor

The Green Party has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon not to withdraw ten Kiwi police officers from East Timor to beef up security at APEC.

"Yesterday's militia attacks in Dili show the need for the police to stay after Monday's independence poll," said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke.

"I have asked Mr McKinnon (in a fax sent today) to reverse his decision to bring home the ten officers by September 7 to help with APEC security.

"They will be leaving when they are most needed. Pro-Indonesian militia leaders say they will fight on if the vote goes against them.

"We have our priorities wrong. Sure, there are a lot of bigwigs to protect at APEC. But New Zealand has almost no history of political terrorism. The ten officers would clearly be more use in East Timor.

"Of course, we welcome Mr McKinnon's decision to send a larger contingent of fifteen officers to East Timor in late September," said Mr Locke.

ENDS

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