Subject: LUSA: UN Administrator Discusses Independence Transition in Lisbon

17 Dec 01 13:37 East Timor: UN Administrator Discusses Independence Transition in Lisbon

Stressing the "tranquility, peacefulness and maturity" of East Timor, the territory´s UN transition administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, holds talks in Lisbon Monday with Portuguese leaders.

Those who "doubted the capacity of the Timorese to fully assume their destiny" have been belied, Vieira de Mello told Lusa Sunday night on arriving on a three-day visit to Portugal.

The Brazilian UN diplomat said he would make a "global assessment" of East Timor´s transition to independence, set for next May 20, in meetings with Portuguese leaders.

On Monday, Vieira de Mello was scheduled to meet with President Jorge Sampaio, outgoing Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, among others.

A major contributor to reconstruction and the UN peacekeeping force in East Timor, Portugal ruled the territory for centuries until Indonesia invaded the half-island in 1975.

SAS -Lusa-

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