Thursday 07 Oct 2021 | 08:50 | SYDNEY
Thursday 07 Oct 2021 | 08:50 | SYDNEY

Ramos-Horta on the East Timor solution


Alex Oliver


6 July 2010 16:16

As Sam pointed out earlier today, Julia Gillard's 'East Timor Solution' to the asylum-seeker issue is far from a done deal.

President Ramos-Horta of East Timor issued this statement this afternoon. It's critical stuff, diplomatically couched:

Dili, 06 Jul (PPR): President José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, spoke yesterday on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard discussed with President José Ramos-Horta the issue of illegal asylum seekers and people smuggling.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard expressed her desire to see a regional arrangement where by individuals would be processed, treated with respect and dignity.

President José Ramos-Horta stated that he, as a man of deep humanitarian convictions, would never turn his back to people fleeing tyranny and violence.

President José Ramos-Horta told Prime Minister Julia Gillard that he will have to discuss these issues with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao before Timor-Leste can commit itself.

President José Ramos-Horta fully understands the complexity and challenges posed by asylum seekers.

While some are victims of unscrupulous people smuggling cartels, others flee extreme poverty and deprivation, and others still flee violence.

Therefore, these problems have to be addressed at regional level and managed by United Nations High Commission for Refugees and others specialized in the field.

Tiimor-Leste will look at any proposals with open mind, based purely on humanitarian consideration.