Subject: LUSA: Seeking detente, Gusmao, PM to meet regularly on 'sensitive' issues

09-08-2002 10:13:00. Notícia nº 3985877 Temas: new destaque3

East Timor: Seeking detente, Gusmao, PM to meet regularly on 'sensitive' issues

East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, seeking political detente, held a first meeting Friday to discuss "sensitive" policy issues before government action.

"This is a system we are introducing at the prime minister's request", Gusmao told Lusa in Dili after the first of what is expected to become regular meetings.

"We consider that bills of a certain sensitivity and of greater difficulty in management should undergo more consultation", said Gusmao, who has recently butted heads with Alkatiri's cabinet and Fretilin parliamentary majority.

Friday's talks centered on land and property legislation under consideration in the cabinet.

Both Gusmao and Alkatiri have acknowledged publically that there had been a lack of dialogue between the new nation's fledgling democratic institutions.

In recent weeks, Gusmao criticized and delayed promulgation of the government's budget and vetoed tax-hiking legislation.

SAS/ASP -Lusa-

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