Subject: LUSA: Lisbon To Study Speed Up in Aid Programs, Official Says

East Timor: Lisbon To Study Speed Up in Aid Programs, Official Says 14 Mar-12:34

Worried about growing "instability", Portugal will consider speeding up some of its aid programs to East Timor for the territory's "most pressing" sectors, Lisbon's top aid official said Wednesday in Dili.

Luis Amado, state secretary for foreign affairs and cooperation, told journalists that such action would not mean an increase in Portuguese aid pledges of about euros 38.8 million, but simply an acceleration in their implementation, especially in terms of technical and consultancy aid.

Amado's comments came before he departed Dili for meetings with Indonesian officials in Jakarta, after a two-day working visit to East Timor.

One of the greatest problems in implementing Portuguese aid programs in the territory, he said, was logistics, the difficulties posed in moving human and material resources over great distances with limited means.

Amado described East Timor's current situation as "difficult and with problems", underlining the climate of "instability" provoked by recent acts of political and mob violence.

"We always have to be worried with a situation such as Timor's, with social and political instability and with the complex transition process to independence, especially when we have more than 1,500 Portuguese posted here", he said.

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