Gusmao invites Rudd to E Timor
Posted 6 hours 12 minutes ago
The office of East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao says he has invited the newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to visit the tiny nation next month.
In a phone call to Mr Rudd, who won in a landslide victory over John Howard on Saturday, Mr Gusmao congratulated the new leader and extended an invitation to stop in Dili “even if only for a few hours,” the office’s statement said.
“Your visit will represent a strong indication of the continuing friendship and cooperation between our two nations.”
He suggested that the visit could take place before or after Mr Rudd attends a global climate change meeting in neighbouring Indonesia next month.
Some 900 Australian troops are currently in East Timor after being deployed in May last year to restore calm following clashes between local security force factions on Dili’s streets that left at least 37 people dead.
The Australian-led International Stabilisation Force is providing support to some 1,700 UN police who are also on patrol.