Subject: East Timorese Prime Minister meets with NSW Premier
East Timorese Prime Minister meets with Premier
BY JESSICA MAHAR 29/08/2008 2:42:00 PM
The NSW and East Timorese governments reaffirmed their working relationship this week when Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao met Premier Morris Iemma.
The Timorese Prime Minister was in NSW for a day, where he and cabinet members met with NSW politicians, the Australia East Timor Business Council and members of the Timorese community living around the state.
Mr Gusmao and his wife Kirsty Sword Gusmao were met by Mr Iemma at Governor Macquarie Tower, where he received a round of applause from community members dressed in traditional tais.
Natalina Ramos-Horta president Jose Ramos-Horta's mother, Maria Isabel Moreira and Genova da Costa travelled from Liverpool and Green Valley to meet the PM.
But president of the Timorese Australian Council, Carlos Pereira said while the community was happy with the relationship between NSW and East Timor, they were disappointed that a planned community function in Liverpool with Mr Gusmao was cancelled.
"They met with the business community but didn't get the time with the other community,'' he said.
"The community has got a lot of issues to put to [the ministers] but we didn't have the chance.
"Some members of our community feel that they are classified as second class citizens.''
Mr Pereira said the large Timorese community living around Liverpool, Fairfield, Campbelltown and Penrith wanted to talk about issues of land and property in East Timor, citizenship and the security situation.
Earlier in the week Mr Gusmao had thanked Australia for being loyal friends and "steadfast partners to the people of Timor-Leste''.
"Standing side by side in peacekeeping, contributing to our health, education, human capacity and building our institutions,'' he said.
"And working with us, not only identify our challenges but to help us deliver solutions.''
Mr Iemma said after a memorandum of understanding was signed in February, he used the visit to strengthen bilateral ties.
"My Government is keen to provide assistance and further strengthen the public sector in East Timor and we will do that in conjunction with [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and AusAID,'' he said.
"The MoU will see the NSW Government continue to provide support and assistance for the establishment of the Consulate-General for a period of three years.''
The NSW Government has provided assistance to East Timor through pharmaceutical products and medical aid, teachers being seconded, donations of buses and fire engines and has established an East Timor NSW Government Taskforce.