Subject: Lusa: Capping European tour, Portugal visit 'very positive' - PM Alkatiri

East Timor: Capping European tour, Portugal visit 'very positive' - PM Alkatiri

Lisbon, June 6 (Lusa) - East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri capped a European tour in Lisbon at the weekend, telling Timorese immigrants his meetings with Portuguese leaders and business people had been "very positive".

Alkatiri, speaking Saturday to some 200 East Timorese immigrants and scholarship students in the Portuguese capital, said he had received reassurances from Portuguese leaders and entrepreneurs that aid and future investments continued on their respective agendas.

He told the expatriate community that their homeland was "progressing well", but that some weak spots remained, particularly in the areas of "justice" and the re-introduction of Portuguese as an official language.

Portugal's new Socialist prime minister, Jose Socrates, had reaffirmed Lisbon's commitment to keeping East Timor among its top foreign aid and cooperation priorities, Alkatiri said.

He departed Lisbon Sunday for Dili, at the close of a tour of European aid partners that first took him to Norway, Finland, Belgium and the European Commission in Brussels, where he met with the commission's president, former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

Alkatiri capped his tour with a four-day stay in Portugal, his first official visit to East Timor's former colonial ruler since he became the newly independent country's first prime minister in 2002.




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