The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA098 - 4 September 2006

Australia-Indonesia-East Timor Trilateral Ministerial Meeting

This morning I attended the third Australia-Indonesia-East Timor Trilateral Ministerial Meeting which was hosted by the Government of East Timor in Dili.  The meeting was chaired by East Timor's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Luis Guterres.

The Trilateral Meeting continues to be an invaluable opportunity to engage two of Australia's closest neighbours on issues of mutual concern.  Ministers agreed to collaborate on a range of fronts to assist East Timor's transition to peace and stability, to forge closer commercial ties between our three countries and to address regional security threats, such as people smuggling and illegal immigration.

Ministers also welcomed the new UN Mission to East Timor (UNMIT) which has a UN Security Council mandate to support political reconciliation, assist with the 2007 East Timor elections, provide relief assistance to those in need, and to work alongside the East Timorese police force on law and order issues.

The meeting also reinforced Australia's strong and broad-ranging relationship with Indonesia.  We remain committed to a long-term development partnership and continue to work closely together to tackle transnational issues, including countering terrorism, illegal fishing and avian influenza.

I look forward to Indonesia hosting the next Trilateral Ministerial Meeting in 2007.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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