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Timor-Leste

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what stabilisation measures for Timor-Leste are being considered under the Rapid Reaction Mechanism set out in the European Council Presidency Conclusions of 15 and 16 June. (80924)

The European Commission will send a fact-finding mission to East Timor shortly. It will then be in a position to consider the measures available under the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). We will remain in regular contact with the Commission as this work progresses. Council Regulation 381/2001 provides details of the full range of measures available under the RRM. The full text of the regulation can be found at the following website: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2001/l 057/1_05720010227en00050009.pdf.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her (a) European and (b) US counterparts regarding the agreement of the mandate of a new UN mission to Timor-Leste; and what the outcomes were of those discussions. (80925)

We are liaising closely with our US counterparts regarding the mandate of a new UN mission to East Timor. We have also been in touch with various European partners, including Portugal, Germany and France. A number of discussions have taken place, both bilaterally and within the UN Security Council. We all agree that the UN has a continuing role to play in assisting the Government of East Timor in the lead-up to the national elections in 2007, particularly in light of recent unrest. The current UN Mission's mandate has been extended until 20 August 2006 while the UN Secretary-General prepares further recommendations on the mandate and structure of the new mission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment her officials have made of the attempt in June 2006 to loot the offices of the Reception, Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Timor-Leste; and if she will make a statement. (81720)

During the height of the recent civil unrest in East Timor, the grounds of the building housing the Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) were broken into. Thirty-two motorbikes were stolen from the compound, but there is no evidence to suggest that there was any attempt to break into the CAVR offices themselves.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment her officials have made of the looting in May 2006 of files held by the Serious Crimes Unit in Dili, Timor-Leste; and if she will make a statement. (81721)

The prosecutor general, who is the legal custodian of the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) files, has told our ambassador in Dili that approximately 5-10 per cent. of the SCU case files are missing. However, a full digital copy of all SCU files is held by the UN.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support her Department plans to offer to the United Nations investigation into recent violence in Timor-Leste; and if she will make a statement. (81722)

The United Kingdom supported UN Security Council Resolution 1690 (2006), which welcomes the initiative of the UN Secretary-General to ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to take the lead in establishing an independent Special Inquiry Commission to review the recent unrest in East Timor. We have not received any specific requests for assistance, but will follow the work of the High Commissioner closely.