Subject: LUSA: Gusmao calls for Lisbon's foreign policy know-how

07-10-2002 17:37:00. Notícia nº 4193306…

East Timor: Gusmao calls for Lisbon's foreign policy know-how

East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao called Monday for Portugal to strengthen the "bridge" connecting his country and the European Union, adding that Lisbon`s backing would be invaluable in developing Dili`s embrionic foreign policy.

Gusmao, on day three of a five-day trip to Portugal, was addressing the all-party commission on European affairs and foreign policy of the Lisbon parliament.

The Timorese leader briefed the 28-member commission on his country`s foreign policy aims, particularly those relating to the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Portugal.

Timor, said Gusmao, had been admitted as an observer to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. However, the new nation's leaders are relatively inexperienced and Gusamao confessed that they had been "alarmed" at the sheer demands and complexities of international affairs.

Gusmao told the commission, led by former foreign minister Jaime Gama, that Timor needed Lisbon`s advice and help in the conducting of its foreign affairs.

The Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) was important to Timor, said Gusamo, "not for what it could make possible, as all looked to Portugal and Brazil", but for "being another voice".

Earlier, Gusmao had lunched with Portuguese bankers and businessmen to discuss increased investment in Timor. Fisheries, tourism and telecommunications were key areas of interest for Portuguese investment, Gusmao had said before the lunch.

CJB/OL -Lusa-

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