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Speculation commander McKee does not represent NZ government Featured


DILI – A member of the New Zealand military Wing Commander Kerry McKee has speculated on the process of forming a new government in Timor-Leste that a coup would occur because according to Kerry that Major General Lere Anan Timur, the General Chief of Staff of the Defense Force and Brigadier General Filomeno Paixão did not has a good relationship with the prime minister Taur Matan Ruak. 

Major General Lere Anan Timur, the General Chief of Staff of the Defense Force, explained the statement of the New Zealand ambassador to Timor-Leste that this speculation is personal, not represent the State of New Zealand and the embassy itself has been dismiss of this person from his mission in Timor-Leste.

"The situation is yesterday New Zealand ambassador with his attaché has come to apologize to us. For me, I do not bother about this matter but public opinion is so sophisticated that everyone in the world has heard, "Major General Lere told the reporters after having a meeting in the presidential office.

Earlier, commander McKee speculated that there would be a coup in this new government because of the relationship between Major General Lere with the prime minister Taur Matan Ruak and Bigadir General Filomeno Paixão not good.

Major General Lere considers the colonel Kerry's speculation have an impact on the domestic economy.

"Word coup could have an economic impact on the country because international investors are afraid to come to invest in Timor".

"We've never had a problem because I have no divergence of ideas with prime minister and brigadier general Filomeno Paixão who will be sworn in as defense minister in the near future".

However, Major General Lere added that the issue does not affect bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Timor - Leste and New Zealand in the military area.

"The question is we have to respect each other. What belongs to Timor is Timorese and what belongs to another State belongs to another State. We do not disturb, do not disturb and do not speculate the situation in the country ".

New Zealand Defence Force spokesperson Phil Murray said Wing Commander Kerry McKee’s comments on the ETAN network were not the views of the New Zealand Defence Force or the New Zealand Government.

“The material was not intended for public use and was sent in error. The New Zealand Defence Force has apologised to the Timor Leste Defence Force (the F-FDTL) for the comments,” he said.

Wing Commander McKee’s appointment in Timor Leste has now ended and he will return to New Zealand. The circumstances related to the incident remain subject to a review.

Meanwhile, New Zealand ambassador to Timor – Leste Vicki Poole said, Wing Commander McKee’s comments on the ETAN network are not the views of the New Zealand Defence Force or the New Zealand Government.  

“His views were personal and were accidentally published on the ETAN network.   Wing Commander McKee has been stood down from duty pending a review of the situation.” (Oki)

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