|Subject: LUSA: Lisbon Grants Euros 100
Million Civil, Security Aid
17 Dec 01 20:04 East Timor: Lisbon Grants Euros 100 Million Civil, Security Aid
Portugal is to provide euros 100 million of aid to East Timor in 2002, it was announced Monday at a Lisbon meeting between Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama and his Timorese counterpart, interim Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta.
Jaime Gama made the announcement after meeting Ramos Horta to discuss relations between Portugal and the future state of East Timor, due to become independent May 20 next year. Gama said the aid would support civil projects, as well as the military and security forces Portugal presently has stationed in the territory.
Gama added that the discussions had been "long and productive" and that the creation of an "instrument for establishing diplomatic relations" between the two countries, as well as the signing of a treaty of friendship and cooperation were discussed.
Ramos Horta told journalists that, "on the day following independence, bilateral relations would begin". He also revealed that Timor is to have observer status at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Questioned by Lusa over the resignation of Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and whether this would alter the aims of his trip to Portugal, Ramos Horta replied that, "Timor was always a question of national (Portuguese) consensus", adding that he still had "friendly relations with all of the Portuguese political spectrum".
"We don`t have any problem with whoever is in the National Assembly", concluded Timor`s head of diplomacy.
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