Subject: Portugal may expand military contingent in East Timor

Portugal may expand military contingent in East Timor

09/27/2006 09:43:36 AM EDT

Excerpt from report published in breaking news section of Portuguese newspaper Publico website on 27 September

On the day that the Portuguese minister of state and internal affairs, Antonio Costa, is beginning a visit to East Timor, groups of youths have created disturbances in the streets of Dili, with the security forces firing rubber bullets against the demonstrators.

A GNR [Portugal's Republican National Guard] source told Lusa that the incidents in the last few hours in several places in the capital were linked to the Portuguese minister's visit.

Antonio Costa has already arrived in Dili for a three day visit to the GNR soldiers and the Portuguese police stationed in East Timor.

The minister is scheduled to have meetings with President Xanana Gusmao; the parliamentary speaker, Francisco Guterres "Lu-Olo"; the prime minister, Jose Ramos-Horta; and his Timorese counterpart, Alcino Barris. Costa will visit the GNR barracks, where 127 soldiers are based in Dili.

In his meeting with Ramos-Horta, Antonio Costa will discuss the possibility of Portugal expanding the GNR contingent, doubling the number of men, if the leader of the Timorese government requests this, as he admitted last week. [passage omitted]

Source: Publico website, Lisbon, in Portuguese 27 Sep 06

BBC Monitoring

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