Subject: E Timor to open its first Mideast embassy in Kuwait

East Timor to open its first Mideast embassy in Kuwait

Kuwait Times.

April 14, 2005 6:34am

Asia Intelligence Wire

KUALA LUMPUR: East Timor is proud to consider the state of Kuwait as its first target to open an embassy in the Middle East region, a senior East Timor official has said. "We will consider Kuwait as the first target once we decide to open a diplomatic representation in the Middle East region", said the Prime Minister of East Timor Mari Bin Amude Al-Katiri yesterday. Speaking after the presentation of credentials of Kuwaiti Ambassador to Indonesia and non-resident envoy to East Timor Mohammad Fadhel Khalaf yesterday, Al-Katiri said that the state of Kuwait is a very essential friend to East Timor as both countries have common similarities in a number of aspects.

Al-Katiri described the current level of relations as "excellent", calling on the same time to increase the level of cooperation in other arenas such as investment and trade.

He said that with the ambassador's handing in his credentials as a non-resident diplomat to his country, there is a more expanded grounds for the ties to be further enhanced to cover other spheres.

He welcomed the Kuwaiti investments and businessmen wishing to invest in his country saying that the law in East Timor grants them full guarantees and that the market in his country is promising.

Al-Katiri expressed his gratitude to the government of Kuwait represented by the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) to contribute a water desalination plant to his country saying such initiative is "a very important contribution" as East Timor suffers shortage in water resources.

Asked whether an East Timorese representation would be opened in Kuwait in the near future, Al-Katiri said "when we find the right person we will consider this initiative".

Asked about the petroleum cooperation with the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec), the premier said that the Kuwaiti company's presence in exploration operations in East Timor was very vital for the country's economy. Al-Katiri added that by the end of next May, an enforced law on petroleum operations would be issued after completing deliberations over it by the parliament and would assist the country's economy by dealing with many foreign worldwide companies including the Kufpec.

He said that his recent visit to Kuwait was very successful, praising the hospitality offered to his delegation by the senior Kuwaiti government officials.

He expressed hope that both countries ties go beyond ordinary relations to include wider aspects of cooperation in a number of arenas of common interests.

The state of Kuwait was present in the independence day of East Timor and was represented by Kuwaiti Ambassador to that country Mohammad Fadhel Khalaf.

Relations at the ambassadorial level were initiated in December 2003 and the signing ceremony was supervised by Khalaf and the East Timorese government officials.

Al-Katiri visited Kuwait last May aboard Kuwait Airways airliner (Al-Jabriya) from Bali to Kuwait as ordered by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

East Timor was among the first countries that denounced the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and supported the just causes of Kuwait in the international arenas.

The second significant visit to Kuwait was made by the Senior Minister and Foreign Minister Dr Jose Ramos Horta, a Nobel Prize for peace figure. The visit was followed by a visit by the Minister of Internal Affairs Rogerio Tiago Lobato conveying a message to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

Japan occupied East Timor during 1942-1945, but Portugal resumed colonial authority after the Japanese defeat in World War II. East Timor declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975 and was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It was incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of East Timor. An unsuccessful campaign of pacification followed over the next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives. On 30 August 1999, in a UN-supervised popular referendum, an overwhelming majority of the people of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia.* Kuna

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