Subject: LUSA: Foreign minister on official visit to Portugal next week

27-03-2003 21:37:00. Notícia nº SIR-4849040...

East Timor: Foreign minister on official visit to Portugal next week

Lisbon, March 27 (Lusa) - East Timor's Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta is due to arrive in the Portuguese capital at the weekend to begin his first official visit to Portugal since his country became independent, an official Timorese source announced Thursday.

Ramos Horta, who last visited Portugal as foreign minister in Timor's last transitional government before independence (May 2002), will begin his official four-day visit Monday, the source in his office said.

Dili's foreign minister is visiting Timor's former colonial ruler at the invitation of Portuguese Foreign Minister António Martins da Cruz. He will hold meetings in Lisbon with President Jorge Sampaio, Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso and the speaker of the National Assembly, João Bosco Mota Amaral.

Timor's top diplomat, who was a co-Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1996, is also scheduled to visit the Lisbon headquarters of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), of which his country became the eighth member in 2002.

Portuguese business investment in East Timor will be high on Ramos Horta's agenda, as he meets entrepreneurs in the capital and the northern city of Oporto. Timor's secretary of state for trade and industry, Arlindo Rangel, will also attend these encounters.

PNG/CJB Lusa

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