22 Aug 2008

Goff says troop reduction likely in East Timor

4:02 pm on 22 August 2008

Defence Minister Phil Goff says both New Zealand and Australia hope to reduce the number of troops they have in East Timor.

Mr Goff says the issue was on the agenda when he met his Australian counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon at Parliament on Friday.

Australia has 750 troops in the country and New Zealand 180 but that will fall to 140 after the withdrawal of their helicopter personnel in October.

But he says both Australia and New Zealand believe that withdrawing the international stabilisation force prematurely could result in re-deploying troops.