Green Party call for NZ Consulate in East Timor

The Green Party has called on the Government to establish a consulate in the East Timor capital Dili, following reports that Australia is doing the same.

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke faxed Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon this morning with the suggestion.

“Establishing a diplomatic consulate in Dili would send a very strong signal that we are serious about having a direct political relationship with the Timorese people,” said Mr Locke.

“Also, by being on the spot, our diplomats may be able to help halt the killings of independence campaigners by the Indonesian militia.”

“New Zealand should also offer to contribute to the international police force being sent to supervise the coming referendum on Timorese independence,” said Mr Locke. “I understand we have yet to be invited to contribute to this force, but we must be proactive on this issue and extend the offer immediately,” said Mr Locke.