WikiLeaks cable: NZ on standby for East Timor

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

May 25, 2005
NZ on standby for East Timor


date:2006-05-25T04:45:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON405
destination:VZCZCXRO6930 OO RUEHDT DE RUEHWL #0405 1450445 ZNY CCCCC
ZZH O 250445Z MAY 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
IMMEDIATE 2827 INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 4420
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI IMMEDIATE 0012 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR
IMMEDIATE 0141 RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON IMMEDIATE 0043 RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY
SINGAPORE IMMEDIATE 0419 RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
IMMEDIATE 0050 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHAAA/NATIONAL
SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:06CANBERRA779
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000405

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/MTS, EUR/WE, EAP/ANP, AND
PM/ISO
NSC FOR V...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000405

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2016
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ASEC, TT, NZ, AS
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND ON STANDBY FOR EAST TIMOR

REF: A. CANBERRA 779

B. DILI 254

Classified By: DCM DAVID R. BURNETT,
FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) GNZ officials are deciding what support New Zealand
will provide to E. Timor now that the Timorese government has
officially asked for help. In the morning of May 25, NZ
Defense Force (NZDF) Assistant Chief for Strategic
Commitments and Intelligence, Brigadier Warren Whiting, told
DATT and Pol-Econ Chief that NZ's Defense Attache and
Ambassador to Dili were joining Australia's high-level
delegation to discuss command and control, tasks, and terms
of engagement with GOT. GNZ officials are meeting regularly
throughout the day, and Foreign Minister Peters, Defense
Minister Goff, CDF Mataparae, New Zealand's Deputy High
Commissioner and Defense Attache in Canberra are all also in
close contact with their Australian counterparts. GNZ was
also anticipating a statement from the UN Security Council
later today.

2. (C) Whiting, who was joined by Col. Mike Thompson,
Director of Strategic Commitments, said that the Timorese had
been far more specific about what they wanted from the
Australians and the Portuguese than from New Zealand,
Malaysia, and Singapore. He said that the UN rep in Timor
had recommended mostly police intervention, and Portugal was
sending about 125 gendarmes. But Australian officials think
this is more of a military than police operation, and GNZ
agrees. Whiting said that in any case, Australia and New
Zealand do not have para-military forces.

3. (C) Whiting and Thompson said that NZ has two C-130s on
stand-by that can be moved immediately as needed to help
transport NZ and/or Australian troops. They said that GNZ
assumes the situation has moved from an evacuation of
noncombatants (NEO) to a military operation. GNZ has also
upgraded its travel advisory for E. Timor, although there are
no Kiwi tourists known to be there, nor does the NZ Embassy
in Dili have many dependents. There are about 40-49 New
Zealanders in the country, but as they are more or less
embedded -- for example doing NGO work -- they are apparently
in no hurry to leave.

4. (C) As far as GNZ can tell, there appears to be no threat
to foreigners in E. Timor. Much of Dili appears to be
operating as normal and although there have been fire fights
between groups, they have not been widespread. There is no
risk getting to the airport, and commercial flights are still
available. GNZ is concerned, however, that foreigners could
end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

5. (C) GNZ has offered to assist Singapore and other
"approved" foreign nationals in Dili, including allowing them
to assemble at the NZ Embassy if needed.
McCormick

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