Subject: XIN: East Timor to Join CPLP: Gusmao

East Timor to Join CPLP: Gusmao

LUANDA (July 17) XINHUA - East Timor will join the Community of the Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) as its eighth member once it gains full sovereignty.

Xanana Gusmao, representative of the East Timorese delegation and observer to the third summit of the CPLP, made the statement at its opening session in Maputo on Monday, reports reaching here said.

"East Timor will surely be the eighth member of the Community of the Portuguese-speaking Countries", Gusmao said before presenting the summit leaders with colorful Timorese "tais", traditional hand-woven scarves.

Meanwhile, senior East Timorese diplomat Jose Ramos Horta reaffirmed in Maputo the territory's choice of Portuguese as a future "official language" alongside indigenous Tetum as its " national language", adding that East Timor would also consider to take English and Indonesia's Bahass Malay as working languages.

Residents in East Timor, a former Portuguese colony in southeast Asia annexed in 1975 by Indonesia after the Portuguese retreat, have voted in September 1999 for independence from Jakarta.

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