Subject: Xanana in N. Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

October 16, 2003

East Timor President meets his people in Ulster

By Mary Fitzgerald mfitzgerald@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Xanana Gusmao, President of East Timor, meets nationals working in Northern Ireland during a visit to Hillsborough Castle

East Timor president Xanana Gusmao was due to meet with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams today as part of his two day visit to Northern Ireland.

The former poet and guerrilla leader, who has been called Asia's Nelson Mandela, was sworn in as President last year after the UN declared East Timor fully independent.

The UN had been governing the former Portuguese colony since it voted to end 24 years of Indonesian rule in 1999.

Mr Gusmao will meet Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey during a visit to west Belfast today.

He was also due to visit Lagan College integrated school in Castlereagh and cross- community groups.

He will later address the Amnesty International annual lecture at Queen's University.

Welcoming Mr Gusmao, Mr Adams said: "Sinn Fein has had a relationship with the people of East Timor for many years during their struggle for independence and since, and in particular with the President's own political party.

"We are proud to have President Gusmao of East Timor visiting Ireland and west Belfast in particular."


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