26 May 2006

Concerned over Timor-Leste, Secretary-General Consults Regional Leaders

NEW YORK, 25 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General, who has been concerned over developments in Timor-Leste, has been telephoning leaders in the region today, including President Xanana Gusmão and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri of Timor-Leste.

He has also been in touch with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Malaysia, John Howard and Abdullah Badawi.  Both countries have committed to send forces to help restore stability in Timor-Leste.  He is also consulting the New Zealand and Portuguese Governments.

In view of the deteriorating security and complex political situation, the Secretary-General has decided to send Ian Martin, head of the United Nations Human Rights Mission in Nepal, to Dili to assess the situation first-hand.

Ian Martin was previously the Secretary-General's Special Representative in East Timor in 1999.

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