Subject: LUSA: Lusophone bloc readies diplomatic, material support for Dili

19-06-2006 11:57:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8094684 Temas:

East Timor: Lusophone bloc readies diplomatic, material support for Dili

Lisbon, June 19 (Lusa) - The Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) will send a senior delegation to East Timor to assess how the eight-nation bloc can contribute to restoring peace to the Asian country and how best to lobby in its favor in international forums.

The initiative was announced Sunday after a CPLP Council of Ministers meeting in Lisbon, the Lusophone bloc's headquarters.

The Foreign Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Carlos Gustavo dos Anjos, the council's rotating chairman, said the delegation, including ministers and specialists in many areas, would travel to Dili "shortly".

After the meeting, Portuguese Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral told Lusa the CPLP could play an important role, especially in regard to upcoming United Nations decisions on East Timor.

Freitas do Amaral said the bloc, to which Dili belongs, should work jointly to combat the idea that East Timor was a "failed state", defend Dili's call for the deployment of a UN military and police peacekeeping force, and "actively participate" in such a force with contributions from each CPLP member state.

In a communiqué, the CPLP Council of Ministers expressed its support for East Timor's appeal for the creation of "a new United Nations' mission with police, military and civilian components".

It also applauded Dili's "positive initiative" in asking UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up an international commission of inquiry into the country's recent wave of violence and its causes.

The bloc, urging increased international humanitarian aid for the island country, also underlined the key importance of Timor's scheduled general elections next year and appealed to all sides to commit themselves to "dialogue".

Dili was represented at the CPLP meeting by Minister of State and State Administration Ana Pessoa, who described the situation in her homeland as "much better", with mounting "encouraging signs" of a gradual return to normal life.

Founded in 1996, the CPLP binds Portugal and Brazil to Lisbon's five former African territories and East Timor.

SAS/RP.

Lusa

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