Subject: LUSA: Timor a Portugues Priority

Portugal: East Timor, OSCE Presidency Lisbonīs 2001 Diplomatic Priorities - Gam 3 Jan-14:53

Portugalīs diplomatic priorities this year will center on support for East Timorīs transition to independence and preparation for Lisbonīs presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2002, Foreign Minister Jaime Gama said Wednesday.

Speaking at a diplomatic seminar in Lisbon, Gama said Portugal would "continue to accompany the period leading to the independence" of East Timor, "which should take place towards the end of 2001".

Confirming previously announced increases in Lisbonīs financial aid and peacekeeping forces for the Asian territory, Gama said he would visit Dili later this month.

He also confirmed that Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab of Indonesia, East Timorīs former occupier, would visit Lisbon in February for the signing of four bilateral cooperation accords.

Gama said the OSCE presidency during 2002 would require a "great effort" on the part of Lisbon, especially in areas where Portugalīs diplomatic presence in the past had been slight, such as Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

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