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|Monday, December 11, 2000, updated at 14:34(GMT+8)|
New Zealand Extends Military Commitment in E. TimorNew Zealand's military commitment in East Timor has been extended for another 12 months, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defense Minister Mark Burton announced in Wellington Monday, December 11.
In a government press release, Clark said her country has agreed to requests to extend its current battalion level of military commitment for a fourth and fifth rotation.
The requests have come from Australia, the United Nations and East Timorese leaders, according to the prime minister.
"These requests are based on the valued and highly appreciated contribution New Zealand peacekeepers are making to East Timor's security," Clark said.
Defense Minister Burton said in the press release that the current third rotation of a battalion group is in East Timor until May 2001.
"Battalion 4 will cover the period June to November 2001, and Battalion 5 the period December 2001 to May 2002," he said.
The New Zealand government is to sign Memoranda of Understanding with the United Nations covering reimbursement for some of the costs associated with its peacekeeping commitment in East Timor, according to the press release.
The agreements are due to be signed at the United Nations in New York later this month, the press release said.
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