Timor-Leste President Ramos-Horta to visit - RePress

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Tuesday, February 10

Timor-Leste President Ramos-Horta to visit

Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta will visit New Zealand between 15 and 17 February, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

"In 1999 New Zealand offered to help Timor-Leste work peacefully towards independence. The country’s leaders and people have continued to welcome our support ever since.

"Hundreds of New Zealand soldiers, police and others have served there, helping to keep order and working with the people to re-build their nation.

"Dr Ramos-Horta played a central role in Timor-Leste’s independence struggle. He is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a statesman of international stature."

During the visit the President will meet Mr Key and senior Ministers. While in Wellington Dr Ramos-Horta will visit the Police College in Porirua, where 25 New Zealand Police officers are training for deployment with the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). He will also lay a wreath at the National War Memorial.

New Zealand supports Timor-Leste through police and military contributions to UNMIT, a 150-strong military commitment to the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force, and technical advice to the Timor-Leste military.

The New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID) manages an $8 million Timor-Leste aid programme that focuses on education, rural livelihoods and good governance. It also helps to fund the police deployment.

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