Subject: Alkatiri in Expresso (summary)

Portuguese Press Coverage of East Timor

28 Oct 2002

The weekly Expresso (circ. 152,000) has a half-page interview with Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, headlined “We do not deny our history.” According to him, “My country is not going to step back in the Timor Sea’s interests” and “Timor-Leste’s natural allies are the Portuguese-speaking countries.” Mari Alkatiri talked about his visits to Angola, Mozambique and Portugal. On security issues he said Timor-Leste had its defense “guaranteed by the UN until 2004, but after that we will have the support from Portugal and Malaysia.” Talking about his relationship with Xanana Gusmão and Bishop Ximenes Belo, he said “The relationship between President and Prime Minister is good, even at the apersonal level.” As for the criticism of Bishop Belo that government officials are traveling too much, Mari Alkatiri said that if he would be a missionary he would stay in his village taking care of the people, but as a government official he is concerned about finding a place for Timor-Leste in the world.

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