Subject: Lusa: Gusmão's defense of dialogue with AlQaeda 'unfortunat

Gusmão's defense of dialogue with Al Qaeda 'unfortunate' - FM Horta

Dili, April 27 (Lusa) - East Timor's foreign minister, José Ramos Horta, reaffirmed Dili's "solidarity" Tuesday with the international campaign against terrorism, describing his president's recent defense of dialogue with Al Qaeda as "inappropriate" and "unfortunate".

"There should be no doubt about East Timor's position", Ramos Horta told Lusa. "East Timor stands in solidarity with all countries and governments in the implacable struggle against terror".

Al Qaeda, the foreign minister said, "uses any means to impose its retrograde beliefs".

He described comments by President Xanana Gusmão in Lisbon last week, suggesting the need for dialogue with terror groups to better combat them, as "inappropriate" and "unfortunate".

Questioned by journalists on the issue Thursday during a visit to Portugal, Gusmão said "dialogue" was sooner or later "always necessary", echoing a recent comment by former Portuguese President Mário Soares.

Ramos Horta described Soares' stance as "unfortunate" and disclosing "ingenuousness or ignorance of these groups" of terrorists.

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