Subject: President wants closer cooperation with Australia over Timor

President wants closer cooperation with Australia over Timor


Portugal and Australia could work more closely together to support East Timor's development, Portuguese President Cavaco Silva said this week after talks with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Portugal's leader said this week ahead of the UN General Assembly he and Rudd analysed the situation in Timor. Both parties agreed on the need for "joint work between the two countries to help towards political stabilisation, security, combat of poverty and creation of jobs," he added.

The possibility of more frequent meetings between Lisbon and Canberra officials on Timorese issues, as well as participation of Dili representative in these contacts, was also brought up, said the Portuguese leader.

During his UN visit Cavaco Silva also held talks with his counterparts from Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro "at the request of other states," a presidential source said.

Lisbon attaches great importance to stability in the Balkans, where it has deployed peacekeepers to international missions, and Cavaco Silva visited the region soon after taking office, the same source added.

Portugal is among a group of states yet to recognise Kosovo's unilateral independence declaration. Serbian President Boris Tadic is seeking support for a motion to be presented to the General Assembly for the International Court of Justice to rule on Kosovo's breakaway is within international law. TPN/Lusa

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