Subject: LUSA: Lisbon emphasizes 'key' UN role, convergence of aid efforts

12-11-2002 11:28:00. Notícia nº 4328443

East Timor: Lisbon emphasizes 'key' UN role, convergence of aid efforts

Lisbon, Nov. 12 (Lusa) - Portuguese Foreign Minister Antonio Martins da Cruz has underlined "the key role" being played by the United Nations in East Timor and the convergence of Lisbon's policies toward Dili with those of the world body.

"The UN has a key role in coordinating assistance to East Timor and we are involved in common projects, such as in education and security forces, and we have the intention of promoting new projects to combat youth unemployment", Martins da Cruz said Monday.

His comments to reporters followed a meeting in Lisbon with the head of the UN mission in Dili, Indian diplomat Sharma Kamalesh.

Martins da Cruz announced that his state secretary, Antonio Lourenço dos Santos, would visit Dili Nov. 29 to inaugurate a Portuguese school and for talks with Kamalesh on future "projects and (UN) synergies".

The foreign minister also downplayed the possiblity that Islamic terrorists could target Western interests, including Portuguese nationals or institutions, in Dili, saying that UN peacekeeping forces in the country were "sufficient".

Kamalesh, who also held talks with President Jorge Sampaio, described his Lisbon meetings as "very useful".

He said the UN shared Lisbon's concern for the promotion of the Portuguese language in East Timor but that Portugal had prime responsibility in that area.

Dili has opted for Portuguese as one of its official languages and has joined the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP).

Kamalesh visited Lisbon on his way to New York, where he will meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to ready a report on East Timor for the Security Council.

JSD/SAS -Lusa-

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