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East Timor: Violence

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on recent unrest in Dili; and what action her Department is taking to resolve conflict in East Timor. (126698)

We are concerned by the deterioration of the security situation in East Timor and the resulting casualties.

Our Embassy in Jakarta (which covers East Timor), with the assistance of our Honorary Consul in Dili, provides regular reports on developments. We have deployed a team of four officers to Dili, who are assessing the situation on the ground and will ensure that consular arrangements for British nationals are sufficiently rigorous.

During financial year 2005-06 the Government contributed funding of £295,971 through the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development Global Conflict Prevention Pool to projects with the objective of supporting conflict reduction in East Timor. We continue to contribute to projects supporting the development of a democratic society and human rights training through our Embassy in Jakarta’s bilateral programme for East Timor.

The UK has played a key role in the UN Security Council to ensure a robust UN Mission is in place in East Timor which focuses on areas of potential instability and conflict. We urge all concerned to bring an end to the violence and resolve the problems within the framework of the constitution and laws.