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UN Timor mission to begin pullout in 2013

Australian Associated Press - February 24, 2012

The UN Security Council has decided to extend its peacekeeping mission in East Timor until the end of 2012 but to gradually phase it out after that.

The mission has about 1000 police and military advisers, most of them from Australia and New Zealand, who were deployed in 2006 to help the government in Dili maintain order and security.

East Timorese are to hold presidential elections in March, requiring a continued UN presence on the island nation.

East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta, who attended meetings in New York this week, agreed with the 15-nation council to begin drawing down the UN Integrated Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) in the beginning of next year, citing enhanced security in the country.

Ramos-Horta said a UN political team would remain after the departure of UNMIT.