29 Aug 2008

Timor leader says NZ troops won't be needed for long

9:04 pm on 29 August 2008

East Timor's prime minister says he hopes over the next year New Zealand troops will no longer be needed to maintain law and order.

Xanana Gusmao and some of his government ministers have spent two days in New Zealand.

Mr Gusmao held talks with the Prime Minister Helen Clark and Cabinet ministers, and on Friday morning laid a wreath at the National War Memorial.

A total of 180 defence force personnel and 25 police are in East Timor as part of an multi-national stabilisation force.

Mr Gusmao thanked New Zealand for its ongoing support, saying East Timor still needs the help of New Zealand while it is reforming its police and defence force.