Subject: LUSA: Gusmão award incentive to further support, says Portuguese leader

16-06-2003 19:35:00. Notícia nº SIR-5139348 Temas: new destaque1

East Timor: Gusmão award incentive to further support, says Portuguese leader

Lisbon, June 16 (Lusa) - After presenting East Timor`s president, Xanana Gusmão, with a prestigious human rights prize Monday, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio said the award was a "stimulus" for the international community to continue its support to the new Asian nation.

Earlier, the Council of Europe honored Gusmão in Lisbon with its North-South Prize, an award marking contributions to development, human rights and democracy.

Sampaio presided at the ceremony at parliament's São Bento Palace, where the award was jointly bestowed to Gusmão and French- Swiss health rights activist Albina du Boisrouvray of the François- Xavier Bagnoud Association.

"I am sure that this prize - timely recognition of the exceptional qualities of President Gusmão - is extra impetus to us all to continue supporting Timor on the road to a secure freedom", said Sampaio.

After his arrival in Lisbon Sunday evening, Gusmão met with the leader of Portugal's main opposition Socialist Party, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, who reaffirmed support for Lisbon's continued engagement in cooperation with Dili.

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