|Subject: Lusa: Portugal,
East Timor Applaud Choice for Nobel Peace Award
12 Oct 01 18:44
Portuguese and East Timorese leaders hailed the awarding Friday of the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and Secretary- General Kofi Annan, underlining their pivotal role in obtaining freedom for the Asian territory from Indonesian rule.
Describing Annan as "a tireless worker for peace", Prime Minister Antonio Guterres said Portugal, East Timor's former colonial ruler, would "not forget" the UN chief's efforts "to create conditions for the freedom and independence of the East Timorese people".
Lisbon's Foreign Minister Jaime Gama told Lusa it was important not only Ximenses Belo and Ramos Horta (who jointly won the award in 1996) received recognition for their part in putting East Timor on the road to independence. Gama sent a congratulatory letter to Annan and the UN.
In Dili, the UN-administered territory's chief minister, Mari Alkatiri, told Lusa Annan's rise to UN leadership in 1997 signaled "new forms" of diplomatic action in the struggle for independence.
"For East Timor, learning that Kofi Annan and the United Nations have received this prize brings happiness", Alkatiri said.
Department of Foreign Affairs
12 October 2001 For Immediate Release
RAMOS-HORTA CONGRATULATES THE UNITED NATIONS AND KOFI ANNAN
Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 1996, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta today conveyed his warmest congratulations to United Nations and their Secretary General Kofi Annan for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize of 2001, in recognition of their work to achieve a better organised and more peaceful world. Speaking from Kansas, USA, Dr Ramos Horta described the award as well deserved recognition. “I have known the work, dedication and professionalism of Kofi Annan for many, many years. He is one of the best Secretary Generals ever of the United Nations. The people of East Timor owe a lot to him.” Dr Ramos-Horta said. “To the staff of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and in the many fields of operation where they face daily challenges and danger, the Nobel Peace Prize is not only a tribute to each and every one of them, but a reminder of their sacred mission to bring peace, dignity and freedom to people and nations.” “To my friend Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in East Timor, and, through him to all United Nations staff in East Timor my warmest congratulations for this award”
“Sergio Vieira de Mello is one of the deserved recipients of this award for the dedication and professionalism in the very trying times in East Timor in the last two years.”
"I know the people of East Timor join me in congratulating him for his dedication and professional for the past two years of sacrifices and of achievements."
Dr Ramos-Horta leaves the United States on October 13 for Prague where he is a personal guest of Czech President Václav Havel for the Forum 2000 Conference. Following an official visit to Paris to meet with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other French high-ranking officials Dr Ramos-Horta returns to Dili on October 22.
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