Subject: LUSA: Ex-Bishop of Dili invited to serve on Council of State

21-01-2003 18:49:00. Notícia nº 4570133…

East Timor: Ex-Bishop of Dili invited to serve on Council of State

Lisbon, Jan. 21 (Lusa) - The former Catholic Bishop of Dili, who resigned last November, has been invited by President Xanana Gusmao to join the East Timorese Council of state, a Portuguese newspaper reported Tuesday.

Carlos Ximenes Belo told the daily "24 Horas" he had accepted Gusmao's invitation to join the Council, a political consultative body chaired by the president.

The body additionally comprises the prime minister, the speaker of parliament, five citizens elected by parliament and a further five chosen by the head of state.

Belo, a Nobel Peace laureate, arrived in Portugal Jan. 7 and told 24 Horas he intends to return to Timor in July to teach theology in a university. However, he added he was prepared to return to Dili at short notice if needed.

The 54-year-old former prelate resigned as apostolic administrator of Dili on Nov. 26 for health reasons and was replaced by Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Bacau (Timor's second city), who now combines the two bishoprics.

PNG/CJB-Lusa-

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