Clinton in East Timor on democracy push

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in East Timor to offer the small half-island nation support as it ends its reliance on international peacekeepers.

In the capital of Asia's newest and poorest country Thursday, Clinton was meeting with Timorese officials as they prepare for the departure of the last of nearly 1,300 U.N. peacekeepers by year's end. Clinton, the first secretary of state to visit East Timor, praised the country's July parliamentary elections but also stressed the importance of accountability for abuses committed during its independence struggle.

A Portuguese colony for three centuries, East Timor voted in 1999 to end 24 years of Indonesian occupation that left more than 170,000 dead. Withdrawing Indonesian troops and proxy militias killed almost 1,500 people and destroyed much of the country's infrastructure.