Subject: LUSA: Lisbon Parliament Speaker foresees CPLP 'parliamentary assembly'

East Timor: Lisbon Parliament Speaker foresees CPLP 'parliamentary assembly'

Dili, Feb. 9 (Lusa) - The speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, João Bosco Mota Amaral, began an official visit to East Timor Monday with a call for the creation of a parliamentary assembly binding the legislatures of all eight Portuguese-speaking countries.

In a speech to the Timorese legislature, Mota Amaral said "the day is not far off" when the Lisbon-headquarted Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) would have a "parliamentary assembly".

Such an initiative, he added, would give the CPLP a "new dynamic" and would allow the "democratic control" of the eight-nation bloc's "activities".

The CPLP, founded in 1996, gathers Portugal and Brazil to Lisbon's five former African territories and East Timor.

Earlier on his arrival in Dili for a four-day visit, Mota Amaral, who leads a 12-member parliamentary delegation, said it was with "profound emotion" that he stepped on East Timorese soil for the first time.

His visit aimed, he said, to "assure the Timorese Parliament and people of the fraternal friendship of the Portuguese Parliament and people".

During his stay, which includes meetings with Dili's senior political and religious leaders and with the head of the UN mission, Mota Amaral will sign a new coperation accord between the two countries' legislatures.


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