Subject: AFP: East Timor leader Gusmao says Vietnam's struggle inspired him

Agence France Presse -- English

August 8, 2005 Monday 9:57 AM GMT

East Timor leader Gusmao says Vietnam's struggle inspired him


East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao began a three-day official visit to Vietnam Monday, saying the long war fought by his hosts inspired his own fledgling nation's freedom fighters.

"When you endured a long war we supported you," former guerrilla leader Gusmao told Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong after a ceremonial welcome.

"The long war endured by Vietnam was a strong inspiration for our own struggle for independence."

Luong said the "Vietnamese people understand the struggle of the Timorese people" and that Vietnam now wanted to "discuss directions of cooperation."

Gusmao earlier told state-run Vietnam News Agency that East Timor wanted to "learn from the experiences of Vietnam in the areas of post-conflict reconstruction, economic development, agriculture and reforestation."

Indonesian troops invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975, and then-president Suharto officially annexed it in 1976.

Indonesia's top legislature agreed in October 1999 to relinquish East Timor and the United Nations began to administer the territory until its independence in 2002.

Vietnam was among the first countries to recognise East Timor.


President: Viet Nam willing to share development experience with East Timor

08/08/2005 -- 22:03(GMT+7)

Ha Noi, Aug. 8 (VNA) - Viet Nam is ready to share its development experience with East Timor and the two countries have great potential for cooperation, President Tran Duc Luong said at a grand banquet on August 8 to welcome East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao.

The Vietnamese President said the foundation of East Timor is an important event not only to the East Timorese people but also to the whole region. He reiterated Viet Nam's policy of boosting friendship and cooperation with regional countries, including East Timor, on both a bilateral and multi-lateral basis.

The visit by President Gusmao will open a new chapter in Viet Nam-East Timor relations, President Luong said. He added that he hoped relevant ministries and branches of Viet Nam and East Timor will discuss concrete measures to implement agreements the two countries have reached in order to bolster bilateral friendship and multi-faceted cooperation.

President Gusmao thanked Viet Nam for being one of the first countries to recognise East Timor's independence. He said because East Timor is facing many difficulties in poverty reduction, State institutional reform and human resources development, it wishes to learn from Viet Nam's experiences in renewal and national development.

Hosts and guests raised toasts for the friendship and cooperation between the two countries and the happiness of the two peoples. -Enditem


Viet Nam, East Timor seek stronger cooperation 
08/08/2005 -- 21:59(GMT+7)

Ha Noi, Aug. 8 (VNA) - Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong and his East Timorese counterpart discussed how to boost bilateral cooperation during their talks in Ha Noi on Aug. 8.

President Luong said the Viet Nam visit by East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao was significant and that it opened a new page in the two countries' friendly relations. He expressed deep sympathy for the difficulties the East Timorese Government and people are facing, and said Viet Nam is ready to share its experiences in maintaining social and political stability while developing the economy.

The Vietnamese leader congratulated East Timor on the achievements it has made over the past time under the leadership of President Gusmao. He affirmed Viet Nam's support for East Timor's efforts in maintaining political stability, developing the country, and contributing to peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia.

President Gusmao thanked Viet Nam for the support and briefed his host on the situation in East Timor since it achieved independence. He said he admired Viet Nam's struggle for independence as well as its great social, political and economic achievements, adding that East Timor wants to learn from Viet Nam how to deal with social problems arising after the war, and to develop the economy.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the development of friendly ties between the two countries since East Timor became an independent State.

President Gusmao expressed strong feelings toward the Vietnamese people and affirmed East Timor's policy to enhance its friendship with Viet Nam and other countries in Southeast Asia.

President Luong affirmed Viet Nam's policy to strengthen mutually beneficial ties with East Timor within existing regional and international cooperation frameworks.

Both host and guest agreed to boost the contact between ministries and branches of the two countries to enhance mutual understanding and work out an orientation for bilateral cooperation. They expressed hope that Vietnamese and East Timorese ministries and business circles will explore cooperation possibilities in potential areas such as agriculture, forestry, and oil and gas development.

President Luong and his East Timorese counterpart were of the same view to promote the "two plus one" cooperation model to utilise foreign and international assistance to East Timor. They agreed to assign the two ministries of foreign affairs to serve as coordinators for boosting bilateral cooperation.

The Vietnamese leader took the occasion to congratulate East Timor on its official admission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), and expressed hope that the new comer will make practical contributions to the forum as well as to regional peace and stability.

The two leaders said they are confident that the positive outcome of the current visit will pave the way for the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.-Enditem

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