Subject: LUSA: Urging 'reconciliation', Europe grants euros 18m in development aid

09-06-2006 11:59:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8066729 Temas:

East Timor: Urging 'reconciliation', Europe grants euros 18m in development aid

Brussels, June 9 (Lusa) - The European Union and East Timor signed a development aid agreement Friday, with Brussels committing euros 18 million over two years to fight pervasive poverty and help build national institutions.

Commenting on the accord, signed earlier in Dili, European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso called on all Timorese factions to seek "a constructive and peaceful solution" to the country's violent crisis within a constitutional framework.

Durão Barroso, a former Portuguese prime minister, underlined that Europe's development aid, planned before the recent outbreak of violence in Dili, would be fruitless without "reconciliation" among the Timorese.

In a communiqué issued in Brussels, the European Commission said the euros 18 million aid package would be divided in two parts, euros 12 million going to primarily rural development and euros 6 million to helping the government manage resources and re-enforce institutions.

Beyond the aid package, which was promised before the eruption of violence in Dili six weeks ago, Brussels dispatched an aid team to Timor last week to assess emergency needs.

After the accord signing ceremony in Dili, the European bloc's representative for development aid in the Pacific region, Valariano Diaz, held talks with Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

SAS/TC/ASP.

Lusa

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