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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > December
Press Statement
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 7, 2004


Meeting Between Deputy Secretary Armitage and East Timor President Xanana Gusmao

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage welcomed East Timor President Xanana Gusmao to the Department today. The Deputy Secretary underscored U.S. support for East Timor and congratulated President Gusmao and the Timorese people on their historic transition to full independence. On May 20, 2005, three years after East Timor celebrated its independence, the mandate of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) will expire, marking the end of a successful partnership among East Timor, the UN, and numerous donor countries. The U.S. has been one of the largest donors to East Timor--both bilaterally and through UNMISET--along with Japan, Australia, and Portugal.

The United States was one of a handful of countries to open embassies in Dili on May 20, 2002, the day of Timorese independence. The U.S. contributed to the deployment of the Australian-led International Force for East Timor during the violence and destruction that followed the 1999 independence referendum, and from 2000-2002 American troops from the U.S. Group in East Timor assisted reconstruction efforts. Many American citizens have served with the UN peacekeeping missions in East Timor. The U.S. has also played a leading role in development and security assistance. In 2004, the U.S. contributed approximately $22 million in economic aid and $2.15 million in security assistance. The Deputy Secretary underscored U.S. interest in and endorsed the progress made by East Timor in developing its democracy, the rule of law, and a free economy that reduces poverty. The Deputy Secretary and President Gusmao also discussed accountability for the crimes against humanity committed in 1999.

2004/1336

Released on December 7, 2004

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