Subject: EU to give East Timor $A115m in aid

also AFP: ET president to nominate Barroso for Nobel Peace Prize

Sunday November 25, 12:33 AM

EU to give East Timor $A115m in aid

The European Union will give impoverished East Timor about $US100 million ($A115.05 million) in rural development aid next year, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after meeting Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

The EU executive chief signed an agreement to provide 15 million euros ($A25.64 million) for rural development and told a news conference that a further $US100 million ($A115.05 million) would be given in 2008.

"This is our commitment to fight against the poverty," he said.

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was occupied by Indonesia in 1975, and became independent in 2002.

The European Commission will establish a permanent representative in East Timor to promote closer relations, Barroso said. During his two-day trip to East Timor, he will visit the parliament and also meet opposition leader Mari Alkatiri.

ETimor president to nominate Barroso for Nobel Peace Prize

24 November 2007, 13:37 CET

(DILI) - East Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta said Saturday he will nominate European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I will argue that the EC under Barroso's leadership has been promoting dialogue for peace and contribute highly to the UN peace troops and supports refugees," the Nobel laureate said in a statement after receiving the EC president in his presidential palace.

In a speech Barroso did not respond to the statement.

"I invite East Timor as partners to build this country, where the people have the right to peace, stability and development," he said.

Barroso's visit is the first ever for an EC president to East Timor, as part of his tour in the region, and personally his third time to the country.

Barroso and Ramos-Horta signed a contract for Europe to rent East Timorese state facilities and assistance for rural development totalling 63 million euros (93 million dollars).

The EC president also met Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the parliament deputy spokesman.

Barroso is scheduled to give a speech at the national parliament and will be in the country for two days before he continues his journey to Vietnam, according to the EC website.

He met Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday after attending an EU summit with southeast Asian nations in Singapore earlier this week.

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