Subject: LUSA: Ramos Horta to Seek ASEAN Agreement

20 Nov 01 21:19 East Timor: Ramos Horta to Seek ASEAN Agreement

East Timor`s Council of Ministers gave Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta the go-ahead Tuesday to initiate moves aimed at the signing a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The project will run parallel to the establishment of diplomatic contacts, allowing East Timor to achieve observer status at ASEAN after May 2002.

During Tuesday`s cabinet session of East Timor`s second transition government, Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri presented a report on his recent visits to Portugal, Mozambique and New York, where he participated in a Security Council meeting on East Timor.

The next meeting of East Timor`s cabinet will be on Nov. 29 in the town of Liquica, about 25 km west of the capital Dili. A "roaming cabinet" meeting has already been held in Bacau, about 70 km east of the capital.

The objective of taking these meetings to the Timorese people is to strengthen ties between central administration and provincial populations, with locals invited to give their input.

CJB -Lusa-

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