Subject: Bernama: Malaysia Preparing to Open Liaison Office in E Timor

Friday, August 11 3:48 PM SGT

Malaysia Preparing to Open Liaison Office in East Timor

DILI, Aug 11 Asia Pulse - Malaysia is ready to open a liaison office in East Timor soon to facilitate bilateral ties prior to full independence of the former Indonesian province, said Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

He said the liaison office would also serve to ensure that assistance extended by Malaysia is channelled to the appropriate parties.

"The officer appointed will play a role to ensure that assistance extended by Malaysia is channelled effectively in East Timor," he said during a meeting with East Timor independence leader Xanana Gusmao, here.

Syed Hamid is heading a 21-member Malaysian delegation comrpising government and private sector representatives on a two-day visit here.

At the meeting, Syed Hamid also expressed the wish of the Malaysian government to establish cooperation with East Timor especially in trade and investment which could be embarked in the former Indonesian province.

Syed Hamid also said that Malaysia was prepared to train the people of East Timor in infrastructure development, agriculture, diplomacy, investment, defence, policing aspects, education and health.

Gusmao, at the meeting, said that he was touched and grateful over Malaysia's compassion and assistance in the redevelopment of East Timor, which is rich in gas and oil resources.

He hoped that Malaysia could provide expertise in the relevant fields like exploration of oil and gas in his country.

Gusmao, who is president of the Council of National Resistance for East Timor, made an official visit to Malaysia last February.

During the visit, Gusmao called on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who expressed Malaysia's prepardness to send to East Timor a technical team from the various ministries.

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