5 Aug 2008

East Timor parliamentary president thanks NZ

6:22 pm on 5 August 2008

The president of East Timor's Parliament has thanked New Zealand for helping restore law and order in his country.

Fernando Lasama Araujo, who is also the leader of East Timor's Democratic Party, has met the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and the Defence Minister, Phil Goff.

Mr Araujo says the situation in East Timor is improving and many of the people displaced during violence in 2006 are returning home. He says a national police force and defence force are being established.

Mr Araujo says while New Zealand troops may only be needed for another two years, East Timor will always need the country's support.

About 200 Defence Force personnel and police officers are deployed in East Timor as part of a multinational stabilisation force.