Subject: East Timor leader tells Arroyo of ordeal
East Timor leader tells Arroyo of ordeal
By Christine Avendaño Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:31:00 08/12/2008
MANILA, PhilippinesAlthough he still suffers from some pain, visiting Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta on Tuesday told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that he has fully recovered six months after the attempt on his life.
This is the first meeting of the two leaders since last year.
According to Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, Arroyo and Ramos-Horta are “old friends from way back,” and they talked briefly about the latter’s ordeal when he was shot and wounded at his home in Dili early this year by armed intruders.
Ramos-Horta, here for a four-day state visit, was in Malacañang where he had a “friendly” discussion with Arroyo during their bilateral meeting that ended with the two leaders witnessing the signing of three agreements on education, marine and fisheries, and diplomat training and development.
Last February 11, he was shot in an assassination attempt. He sustained multiple injuries and was in critical condition. He was flown to Australia for treatment and regained consciousness after 10 days. On April 17, more than two months after the attempt on his life, the fully recovered Ramos-Horta returned to East Timor.
“President Ramos-Horta said some benefit came out of the [incident], although he suffered a lot. Some 800 rebel soldiers returned to the fold and pledged their allegiance and support to the East Timor government,” Romulo said, adding that there was now peace and stability in that country.
According to the foreign secretary, Ramos-Horta “has fully recovered but he still [suffers from] some pains.”
“It’s natural because of the trauma and wounds that he suffered,” Romulo told reporters.
During their talk, Ramos-Horta reiterated to Arroyo his country’s support for the bid of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for the top post in the International Court for Justice.