Subject: Lusa: Portugal remains on 'front line of support' for Dili - Mota Amaral

East Timor: Portugal remains on 'front line of support' for Dili - Mota Amaral

Dili, Feb. 10 (Lusa) - Portuguese Parliament Speaker João Bosco Mota Amaral pledged Lisbon's continued "frontline support" for East Timor in a meeting Tuesday with the newly independent country's president, Xanana Gusmão.

"We came to testify Portugal's appreciation, admiration and enthusiasm over the construction of a democratic state and the economic development of East Timor", Mota Amaral said after his talks with Gusmão in Dili.

He said he had reaffirmed Lisbon's "desire to always remain on the front line of support for East Timor's progress" in a dynamic based on "concrete facts".

In turn, Gusmão said he viewed Mota Amaral's four-day visit, which began Monday, as "a sign" of stedfast Portuguese solidarity with its former Asian territory.

Earlier, Mota Amaral held talks Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta and placed a wreath at Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery in honor of those killed during 24 years of resistance to Indonesian occupation.

Also on his Tuesday agenda was a meeting with the Portuguese army battalion serving with UN peacekeeping forces.


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