Subject: TLGOV: JRH to see Pope next week

MEDIA RELEASE

Dili, October 20 2006

Prime Minister to have audience with His Holiness the Pope

The Prime Minister Dr José Ramos-Horta will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV in Rome next week.

"I am honored and humbled to have been given an audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV and I look forward to discussing many issues with him, but particularly the steps we are taking to help the poor and disadvantaged in Timor-Leste," Dr Ramos-Horta said. The Prime Minister will also meet the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Vatican.

Dr Ramos-Horta will also join former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev and communications experts at the first World Congress on Communication for Development. The congress will focus on demonstrating that communication for development is an essential tool for meeting challenges and needs to be more fully integrated into development policies and practices.

Dr Ramos-Horta will participate in a panel discussion on October 25 entitled "Communication for More Effective Development". The Congress will bring together communication professionals engaged in development initiatives, policy makers, development practitioners, donor and community representatives, and academics from around the world.

Accompanying the Prime Minister will be the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Excellency José Luis Guterres; designated PR to the United Nations Mr Nelson Santos; designated Ambassador to the Vatican Mr Justino Guterres; Advisor to the Council of Ministers Mr José G. Guterres; Advisor to the Prime Minister Ms Ana Filipa Carvalho; and TVTL journalist Mr Domingo Gama.

"Timor-Leste is entering a period of unprecedented development activity," Dr Ramos-Horta said. "It is crucial that all our people understand how these exciting projects will benefit the nation as a whole.

"This Congress will provide me with an opportunity to hear about the most up-to-date and effective communication methods of keeping people properly informed.

"I expect to hear a great deal about the use of new electronic media, particularly the internet, but also strategies to reach people in our most remote districts."

The Prime Minister will leave for Rome on October 23 and return to Timor-Leste on October 30.

For further information please contact::

Joel Maria Pereira Information Officer Gabinete Primeiru Ministru Email: riko_joel@yahoo.com Telephone: +670 7254740

Ivana Belo Information Officer Gabinete Primeiru Ministru Email: unugina2004@yahoo.com Telephone: +670 724 3559.

Julian Swinstead Communications/Media Advisor Office of the Prime Minister Email: jswinstead@hotmail.com Telephone: +670 732 7776.


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