Subject: LUSA: Sampaio reaffirms Portugal's commitment to country's reconstruction

Also: PM Durao Barroso says Portuguese will rally to help new nation

08-10-2002 11:43:00. Notícia nº 4195791…

East Timor: Sampaio reaffirms Portugal's commitment to country's reconstruction

President Jorge Sampaio reaffirmed Portugal's continuing commitment to East Timor's reconstruction Monday at a banquet honoring his visiting Timorese counterpart, Xanana Gusmao.

Sampaio, speaking at a gala dinner at Lisbon's Ajuda Palace, underlined Portuguese aid priorities for the newly independent nation.

The teaching and promotion of the Portuguese language, reinforcing public administration, strengthening civil society institutions, and economic development were Lisbon's key objectives in aiding Dili, Sampaio said.

For his part, Gusmao, who is paying a five-day visit to Portugal, stressed he wanted to see "the physical presence of Portugal" in East Timor, reiterating appeals for Portuguese entrepreneurs to consider investing in his Asian country.

"We still do not have the conditions to offer the necessary investment opportunities", Gusmao acknowledged, stressing the "slow" progress made in creating the necessary "legal and infrastucture framework" for foreign investment.

But "we are firm" in the commitment to moving forward in those areas, he said.

Gusmao noted that, while East Timor's domestic market was small, the half-island country could serve as a "significant emporium for the great (Southeast Asian) region".

Referring to current Portuguese aid programs, Gusmao offered special thanks for the more than 150 Portuguese teachers working in East Timor and for help in setting up a fledgling naval force.

SAS/TSM -Lusa-

09-10-2002 19:45:00. Notícia nº 4202750…

East Timor: PM Durao Barroso says Portuguese will rally to help new nation

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said Wednesday that he will rely on the imagination and contribution of Portuguese society to keep East Timor in the spotlight as a worthy cause.

Speaking in Lisbon after a meeting with Timorese President Xanana Gusmao, Durao Barroso announced a series of cooperation initiatives, including a Portuguese school that will open soon in Dili.

About 1,500 Timorese will attend a pre-university Portuguese course, said Durao Barroso, and about 2,700 Timorese students will have Portuguese lessons at the new college.

Questioned on the possible affects of a cutback in Portuguese government spending, Durao Barroso said he would do all to ensure that Portuguese government bodies, businesses, local authorities and private citizens mobilized imaginatively to keep Timor in the international spotlight, with the support of Lisbon`s coffers.

President Gusmao, who is on a five-day visit to Portugal, said that an example of individual initiative could be the "adoption" of a Timorese child, with a Portuguese family paying for their education.

Timor needs the same "support and care" that a craftsman gives an article he is shaping, said Gusmao, adding that political relations between Lisbon and Dili should be conducted with similar tenderness.

CJB/OL -Lusa-

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