US ambassador to Timor-Leste ‘good step forward’

Senator Jeff Merkley hopes for expanded talks with Timorese about Stacey Addison

The flag of East Timor flies.(AP Photo/Jordao Henrique)
The flag of East Timor flies.(AP Photo/Jordao Henrique)

WASHINGTON (KOIN 6) — Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has called the Senate’s confirmation of Karen Stanton as U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste a “good step forward” in the case of Stacey Addison, a veterinarian imprisoned without charge in East Timor.

Merkley expressed his hope for expanded talks with the Timorese government in light of Stanton’s confirmation.

Read more about Stacey Addison

Merkley and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden urged Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to schedule a vote on the ambassador nomination less than a week ago, a statement from Jeff Merkley’s office said.

“I’m hopeful that the confirmation of Karen Stanton will be a good step forward in advancing our dialogue with the Timorese government and will help to encourage a fair and speedy process for Dr. Addison,” said Senator Merkley.

The Oregon vet has been imprisoned for weeks, after she traveled from Indonesia to East Timor in a hired car to renew her visa,  and was arrested along with another passenger who was being followed by police.

Addison was re-arrested Oct. 28 and is being held in Gleno women’s prison, about an hour from the capital city of Dili.

Merkley’s office said the senator met with the Ambassador of Timor-Leste last week to discuss Addison’s case, and his staff are working with the state department to assist Addison, and her family.

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