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East Timor Elections Watch Leads The Aid And Emergencies Agenda

  • June 15th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

timor-flag-2-reduced.gifThe European Union is sending observers to East Timor but can’t do much to ease trouble in other places.

EAST TIMOR ELECTIONS

An EU observer mission will follow up its watch on the East Timor (Timor Leste) presidential elections last month by also monitoring the parliamentary elections there on 30 June.

The same team leader, a Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Javier Pomes, will head a group of 35 observers watching the election campaign, to be joined by a further delegation of MEPs in the country on voting day.

The European External Relations Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said (14.6.07) East Timor had taken up some suggestions from the previous mission to improve management of the elections this time.

“The recent presidential elections, which were held peacefully and were conducted reasonably well by the national authorities, mark a major step towards the stabilisation of this young country,” she said.

“We are confident that the next parliamentary elections will further confirm this trend.”

The EU is supporting the electoral process with a contribution of €1.5-million (A$ 2.39 – million; dcerates.com, 14.6.07) , through the United Nations.

AID TO SOMALIS

A new contribution of aid — € 4-million (A$ 6.38-million )– is being sent also as emergency relief for up to 350 000 internally displaced people and host communities in Somalia; after the fighting in Mogadishu which drove most of the population out of the city.

The money will provide food, water, shelter and medical support, in particular for 17 000 people so far suffering in a cholera outbreak.

The EU has previously committed €32.5-milion (A$ 51.46-million) through its own aid organisation, to assist in dealing with the impacts of civil turmoil and fighting in that country since 2004.

Additional aid of €2-milliion (A$ 3.19-million) has been sent to neighbouring Kenya as a host country for refugees.

FEARS OVER MIDDLE EAST

Today in Brussels (14.6.07) European Commission representatives expressed grave fears over the fresh violence in the Middle East.

The Development Commissioner, Louis Michel, said escalating violence between the Fatah and Hamas factions in Gaza was a “growing humanitarian tragedy” which had caused the suspension of all of the EU’s 16 relief projects there – the first time that had been made necessary by a deteriorating security situation.

The EC deplored the assassination of the Lebanese parliamentarian, Walid Eido, with his son and several others, at Beirut, and expressed support for Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in his efforts to hold a political dialogue among parties in the country.

Picture: Flag of East Timor (Timor Leste).

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