The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
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Media Release

FA104 - 25 August 2003

Australia And East Timor Sign Counter-Terrorism Arrangement

The East Timorese Foreign Minister, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, and I today sign a Memorandum of Understanding to boost cooperation between our countries in the fight against international terrorism.

The arrangement provides a framework for increased cooperation between security and law enforcement officials, as well as officials from other relevant agencies such as customs, immigration and transport.

As a result, information exchanges on terrorism matters will increase and our efforts on law enforcement and controlling our borders will be enhanced. The arrangement also provides for counter-terrorism training and education and technical assistance programs.

Australia will continue to stand by East Timor and help build its capacity, in partnership with its neighbours, to deal with traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

Australia and East Timor enjoy a close bilateral relationship with substantial people-to-people, economic, development and security links. This counter-terrorism arrangement will deepen our relationship with East Timor and will also help protect Australians and Australia's interests at home and abroad. This is one of the Government's highest priorities.

The campaign against terrorism underlines the importance of Australia's defence and law enforcement relationships, especially with countries in our region.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial)  (02) 6277 7500 -  Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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