Subject: JRH Thanks Malaysia


Bernama - Wednesday, January 21

MELAKA, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Visiting Timor Leste President Dr Jose Ramos Horta expressed his country's gratitude to Malaysia for assisting in the development and stability of his country.

He said Malaysia had been consistent through the South-South solidarity programmes and was the first country to support its membership in ASEAN under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"We are a small country with 1.1 million population, and we hope, one day, to reciprocate by assisting Malaysia," he told reporters after a visit to Putra Hospital here.

Earlier, the president and his delegation -- on a two-day official visit to the historic state -- were given a briefing by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam at Kompleks Seri Negeri here at Ayer Keroh.

Dr Jose, who visited Melaka several years ago as Timor Leste foreign minister, was also treated to a luncheon at the Portuguese Settlement here before being taken on a boat ride at the Melaka river here.

-- New Straits Times (Malaysia)

January 21, 2009 Wednesday

Timor Leste grateful to Malaysia

MALACCA: Timor Leste President Dr Jose Ramos-Horta yesterday thanked Malaysia for helping his country since it achieved independence seven years ago.

He said Malaysia was the first country to set up an embassy in Timor Leste and helped to train his country's police force and acquire equipment.

"Malaysia had also strongly supported our application to become an Asean member.

"Their (Malaysia) peacekeeping forces also played an important role when there were disturbances in our country in 2006.

"We hope that, one day, we will be able to repay the kindness of the Malaysian government," he said after visiting the Putra Specialist Hospital here.

He is on a five-day official visit to the country with a 10-member delegation.

He also attended a briefing on developments in the state by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam at Seri Negeri and took a cruise on the Malacca River.

Mohd Ali said the state government was prepared to assist Timor Leste in various fields, including education and agriculture, apart from inviting their people to visit and seek medical treatment in Malacca.

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