As Timorese leader returns, UN envoy calls on nation to 'pull together' for peace

17 April 2008
President José Ramos-Horta returns to Timor-Leste

Marking the return of President José Ramos-Horta from Australia, where he was recovering after being wounded in an assassination attempt two months ago, the top United Nations envoy to Timor-Leste today called on the leaders and people of the young nation to strengthen their commitment to ensuring lasting peace.

Atul Khare, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), greeted the President at the airport in the capital, Dili, and assured him of the UN's continued support as he resumes his duties.

“I look forward to continuing the UN's work with the President in promoting democratic governance, strengthening the rule of law, supporting the review and reform of the security sector, and furthering socio-economic development,” said Mr. Khare.

“President Horta's return is an opportunity for Timorese society to pull together with renewed determination for the future of Timor-Leste,” he added. “Sustained peace depends upon the commitment of everyone, including politicians, the security sector and the citizens of Timor-Leste.”

The President was shot at his home on 11 February by rebel soldiers. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão came under fire in a separate attack on his motorcade but was not injured.

Ahead of Mr. Ramos-Horta's return, the UN announced strengthened security arrangements for the President on his arrival and afterwards, including checkpoints near his house and close protection by UN and Timorese police.

 

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