Subject: Lusa: Lisbon Awaits UN OK on Offer of Patrol Boats

East Timor: Lisbon Awaits UN OK on Offer of Patrol Boats 
23 Jun-13:29

Portugal is awaiting United Nations approval to provide East Timor with two patrol boats and training for the nucleus of the territory's future naval forces. Defense Minister Julio Castro Caldas and UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello visited one of the patrol boats at a Lisbon navy pier Thursday. If UNTAET determines the patrol boats fit the territory's security needs they would be delivered to Dili by year's end, Castro Caldas said. In addition, he added, the Portuguese navy would train a contingent of 36 East Timorese sailors in Portugal. Vieira de Mello expressed "great gratitude" for Portugal's offer, saying it was "opportune and urgent" to equip Timor with a naval contingent, a component which the UN peacekeeping force currently lacks.

SAS -Lusa-

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