Subject: Lusa: More reconciliation among leaders needed, says int'l mediation body

More reconciliation among leaders needed, says int'l mediation body

Dili, Nov. 22 (Lusa) - East Timor's leaders are still not prepared to meet at short notice to resolve political and social problems that emerge as the new nation slowly recovers from this year's deadly turmoil, an international organization working for reconciliation in the Asian state said Wednesday.

Former Latvian President Valdis Birkavs, coordinator of the Club of Madrid's efforts to promote dialogue in Timor, said he was concerned that despite recent peace rallies organized by Timorese youth groups and a symbolic joint parade by the police and army units, little evidence exists that parallel reconciliation moves have been made by Dili's leaders and main political parties.

Resolving Timor's political instability calls for "common efforts", said Birkavs, noting that his own country went through periods of post-independence turmoil before managing to consolidate democracy.

The role of Timor's leaders in bringing lasting political stability to the four-year-old nation is crucial, said Birkavs, adding hypothetically that if he was one of Dili's leader, his "first concern would be to talk to everyone and act immediately".

"But this dialogue must lead to action. Action and more action", stressed the ex-Latvian leader.

Bircavs recalled a conversation he recently had with Timor's minister of state and public administration, Ana Pessoa, who argued that work is more important that words.

"I told Ana Pessoa that work is much more important than words. But words give hope and encourage people".

Birkavs was speaking at a meeting of Timorese government ministers, MPs, political and church leaders and heads of the army and police forces organized by President Xanana Gusmao and aimed to uncover the causes behind Timor's recent crisis and those to blame for it.

A presidential communique said the conclusions of the meeting would be made public at a future date.

The Club of Madrid is an independent organization comprising nearly 70 former heads of government and state whose aim is to contribute to strengthening democracy worldwide.

CJB/EL. Lusa

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