Subject: KY: Japan, Portugal to continue cooperation to help E. Timor
Japan, Portugal to continue cooperation to help E. Timor
TOKYO, Apr 07, 2004 (Kyodo) -- The foreign ministers of Japan and Portugal agreed Wednesday that their countries will continue cooperation to help reconstruct East Timor, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said.
In their talks in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and her Portuguese counterpart Teresa Gouveia also expressed hope the planned June 30 transfer of power from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi people will go smoothly.
At a working dinner following their talks, the two discussed other issues of global concern, including situations in Africa, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Sri Lanka.
On East Timor, Kawaguchi and Gouveia shared the hope that the United Nations will maintain its presence in East Timor even after the mandate of the U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) there expires in May. Both Japan and Portugal are taking part in UNMISET's activities.
Kawaguchi said Japan is trying to promote exchanges of views with related countries on the need for the world body to continue its presence, and Gouveia thanked Japan for this effort, the officials said.
Kawaguchi said Japan remains committed and that the international community must continue being actively involved in efforts to help East Timor become completely self-sufficient, according to the officials.
East Timor, which was a Portuguese colony for more than 400 years before being invaded by Indonesia in 1975, gained independence on May 20, 2002, after more than 24 years under Indonesian occupation and two and a half years under U.N. administration.
Concerning Iraq, Kawaguchi said she hopes the public security situation stabilizes soon and emphasized the importance for the international community to unite in helping the country rebuild, the officials said.
Gouveia said she hopes the U.N. will increase its involvement in the process of building Iraq's political system, according to the officials.
Kawaguchi explained about Japan's position of seeking to resolve comprehensively issues involving North Korea, including its suspected nuclear development program and abductions of Japanese.
Gouveia, who is on a four-day visit to Japan through Thursday, responded that Lisbon understands Tokyo's policy and that it will deal with North Korea with that in mind, the officials said.
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