Subject: AFP: Timorese Nobel laureate praises 2002 winner Jimmy Carter

Agence France Presse

October 11, 2002 Friday

East Timorese Nobel laureate praises 2002 winner Jimmy Carter

LISBON, Oct 11

East Timorese Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, hailed on Friday the decision to award the prize this year to former US president Jimmy Carter.

Ramos-Horta, who said he wrote to the Nobel Committee in Norway last year to nominate Carter, added he hoped the former president could use his prestige to resolve the ongoing dispute between the US and Iraq.

"He deserves the prize, he is an exceptional person. The choice this year could not have been more just," he told Portugal's Lusa news agency.

Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel prize for peace together with Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo for their non-violent struggle for independence from Indonesian rule in East Timor.

Portugal colonised East Timor for four centuries before it abruptly withdrew in 1975, leaving the territory to be annexed by Indonesia. East Timor officially became independent in May.

"Perhaps the Nobel Committee is betting that Jimmy Carter, as a Nobel Peace prize winner and a great figure, could relieve the spirit of confrontation that exists at this moment between Iraq and the US," Horta said, adding Carter could perhaps meet with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Carter made an appeal for exhausting all alternatives to war with Iraq in an interview with CNN television after the announcement that he had been awarded the Nobel peace prize.

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