Subject: LUSA: Ramos Horta Hopeful EU Will Increase Aid

24 Apr 02 12:15 East Timor: Ramos Horta Hopeful EU Will Increase Aid

East Timor´s interim foreign minister expressed confidence Wednesday that the European Commission would increase aid to the territory, beyond the already announced package of euros 18 million for 2003-2004.

Jose Ramos Horta, in comments to Lusa in Brussels, said he had held "very productive" talks with both the European Commission and European Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

He said he had asked for "solid support" through 2005, when Dili is expected to begin receiving revenues from oil and natural gas exploration.

Ramos Horta said he had encountered "great openness" in Brussels to East Timor´s needs, especially in terms of bolstered aid for health programs.

SAS/ACF -Lusa-

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