Montenegro wants to deepen cooperation and take advantage of Timor’s “location


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The Portuguese Prime Minister today expressed his intention to deepen cooperation with East Timor in areas such as language, culture and education, but also economically, taking advantage of the country’s “geostrategic location”.

At the end of a meeting of about half an hour with the President of the Republic of East Timor, at the official residence in São Bento, Luís Montenegro stressed the “honor and gratitude” of receiving José Ramos-Horta on the occasion of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April.

“East Timor is a brother people, a brother country and the presence of President Ramos Horta has a very special meaning for all of us. Thank you very, very much on behalf of the Portuguese government for taking part in these celebrations,” he said.

The Prime Minister expressed his intention to continue deepening cooperation between the two countries “in the areas of culture, language, education and also in the economic area”.

“East Timor recently joined the World Trade Organization and has a geostrategic location that can provide many opportunities for the Portuguese economy,” he said.

Luís Montenegro pointed out that Portugal “is already East Timor’s largest European economic partner”, but that it is possible to go further.

“We are convinced (…) that we will be able to take advantage of this location not only in relation to East Timor’s economy but, by taking advantage of this location and all the relationships that Timor has in the region, we can effectively enter markets that, from the point of view of quality and quantity, can welcome products that Portuguese companies produce with quality and have the capacity to compete with the best in the world,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he was talking about products such as “clothing, footwear, wine, olive oil or medicines”.

“Many areas of our economic activity have available markets in Southeast Asia, which Timor-Leste is also very interested in being a partner in,” he said.

In a statement without the right to questions, next to President Ramos-Horta, in the garden of the São Bento Palace, Luís Montenegro said he had already shared these “points of cooperation” between the two governments by telephone with the Prime Minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmão, in the early days of his mandate.

“Today I had the opportunity, with President Ramos Horta, to exchange views on the political situation in East Timor and the region as a whole and to project bilateral relations for the coming years, within the scope of the CPLP, and the relations that East Timor, through Portugal, has with the European Union,” he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that, “above all”, the two countries share “common values of peace, democracy, human rights and the value of language”.

“April 25th was, on this occasion, the pretext for coming together, but Mr. President, there will be no shortage of reasons for us to continue meeting and putting our energy at the service of our peoples, the development of our countries and the well-being of the people,” he stressed.

Luís Montenegro also made a point of recalling the distinction awarded to Ramos-Horta in 1996, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

“In your public life, you have already given many examples of dedication to the well-being of the people (…) It is in this example that we are inspired every day to value the human condition as the ultimate goal of our intervention as rulers,” he said.

The President of East Timor is making an official visit to Portugal, during which he will take part in the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of April 25.

During his visit to Portugal, which ends on April 28, José Ramos-Horta will meet with the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the President of Parliament, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco.

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavan
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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