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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06WELLINGTON488
2006-06-27 04:21:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Wellington
Cable title:  

NZ UPDATE ON E.TIMOR

Tags:  PREL PGOV MOPS ASEC KPKO MY AS TT NZ 
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VZCZCXRO1120
PP RUEHDT
DE RUEHWL #0488/01 1780421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 270421Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2952
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4464
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI PRIORITY 0017
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR PRIORITY 0142
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON PRIORITY 0044
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0058
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000488 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
NOFORN

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/MTS, AND EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISD LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR JO1E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS ASEC KPKO MY AS TT NZ
SUBJECT: NZ UPDATE ON E.TIMOR

REF: WELLINGTON 405

Classified By: Ambassador William McCormick,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: On June 26, Prime Minister Clark and Police
Minister Annette King announced that up to 25 New Zealand
police officers would be sent to E. Timor for a three-month
deployment. The police will join the 167 NZ Defence Force
personnel already in the country. Meanwhile, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) officials say GNZ has no
official position on the nature of future peacekeeping
operations in E. Timor. New Zealand's usual preference is to
work through the UN, but the officials say that many
questions remain about what such a mission would entail,
including which countries would participate, whether a UN-led
police mission would be effective, and how the force would be
evacuated in case of a real crisis. In her official
statement regarding the police contingent even PM Clark has
acknowledged that, "It's likely to take some time for the UN
to work through the various issues surrounding its future
operation in Timor Leste." End Summary.



3. (C) The decision to send NZ police to E.Timor was made
following the recommendations of a police assessment team
sent to Dili about 3 weeks ago. Matt Paterson, Policy
Officer in MFAT's Security Policy Division, told Pol-Econ
Couns that the PM's decision to send the police was made
without prejudice to any future UN mission.



4. (C) Jeff Langley, Deputy Director of MFAT's South and
Southeast Asia division, says that GNZ officials continue to
be in contact with their Australian counterparts on the UN's
possible role in E.Timor. GNZ has also been taking part in
the UN discussions on this issue, and have taken note of the
fact that Portugal, Malaysia, and E. Timor all said during UN
discussions late in the week of June 19 that they would
prefer to see peacekeeping/police operations move to the UN.
As of now, said Langley, the Australians do not appear to
favor this.



5. (C) In contrast, Langley said, New Zealand has no
position on the future of Australian-led multilateral vs. UN
operations in E. Timor. Working level officials are still
working through the implications of the various options and
have not yet made any recommendations to Ministers. Langley
said GNZ will develop its position as the UN discussions
proceed on the best successor to UNITIL. He also said that
New Zealand's tradition of supporting multilateral diplomacy,
its relations with Australia, and the needs of E. Timor would
all affect New Zealand's decision on how to go forward.
Despite GNZ hesitance to join formally Australia's current
position, GNZ has no intention of breaking away from the
Australian-led operation. "Although we may not always agree,
there will be no surprises" for Australia regarding New
Zealand's actions, Paterson said, "We continue to work
closely with GOA officials."



5. (C) Paterson said that New Zealand could work either with
the UN or in an arrangement similar to the Regional
Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
"Multilateral can mean different things," he said, "it's not
just the UN." Nevertheless, MFAT working level officials
seem a bit uncomfortable with what they see as Australia's
more negative attitude towards a greater UN role. Langley
said that New Zealand has historically prefered to work more
in the UN and other multilateral arrangements than has
Australia. But he hastened to add that this preference had
not prevented New Zealand from joining the Australian
operation in E. Timor. (NB: While this may be true, the
Deputy Australian High Commissioner told DCM that Canberra
had grown a bit impatient over the relatively long time it
took for New Zealand Defense Forces to touch down in Dili. )



6. (C) If the UN does take on the mission, GNZ believes a
lot of questions would need to be answered. These include
issues of command and control as well as whether the troops
would mostly be the mulitlateral troops already there or from

WELLINGTON 00000488 002 OF 002


a more representative mix of nations. Meanwhile, GNZ has
also been talking bilaterally with officials from other
countries who might participate in peacekeeping operations,
including Singapore's Prime Minister during his recent visit
to Wellington. John McKinnon, MFAT's Deputy Secretary, says
Lee said that Singapore might participate as part of a UN-led
mission, but he resisted GNZ's suggestion that ASEAN might
want to get involved. McKinnon believes that Singapore is
wary of offending Indonesia.



7. (C) GNZ officials also question how foreign police will
operate in E.Timor. Langley said that the Timorese had asked
for 870 foreign police, but apparently only a minor share of
these would engage in traditional police work. Although NZ
has now decided to send some police, questions still remain
about their immediate role as well as in any future UN-led
mission. Langley said GNZ believes a large number of cops on
the beat will be essential to maintaining order. A heavily
armed rapid response team is not the answer, he said, as it
is far better to prevent crises before they happen.



8. (C) No matter what the international police role is,
Langley says that over the longer term, it will be essential
to train E. Timor police properly. If the UN gets involved
it will need a robust mandate and effective leadership to
withstand the less than favorable political environment,
which will be less than clear and could change frequently.
Langley said UNITIL failed in adequate training of Timorese
police, having focused on specific tasks rather than capacity
building. The training was offered by different countries,
all with different approaches, Paterson said.



9. (C) Langley and Paterson said that one New Zealander
remains in E. Timor as part of UNITIL. If the UN takes on a
new role there, GNZ will maintain at least one liaison in
Dili. They said it would be helpful to learn more about what
USG officials believe would be acceptable elements of a
stabilizing operation post-UNITIL. They confessed that their
NZ officials based in New York and Washington are giving
different readouts on the US position, and some clarity from
us would be helpful.



10. (C) Comment: The Prime Minister's decision to send police
to E.Timor showed some political courage. The Australian
Deputy High Commissioner told us the Kiwis were hesitant to
send police to E.Timor because GNZ is far behind on its
election pledge to hire more police for New Zealand's
streets.
McCormick