Visit to Timor-Leste serves to identify priorities for cooperation 2024-2028

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Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said today in Dili that the two-day official visit to Timor-Leste serves to identify priorities in the framework of strategic cooperation between 2024 and 2028.

“This visit is mainly intended to identify what are the priorities of the new Government of Timor-Leste for cooperation, so that the next cooperation program 2024-2028 corresponds to what are the priorities of the Government of Timor-Leste, since it coincides precisely with [its] mandate,” said António Costa, after a meeting with Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.

In a brief statement to journalists, without the right to questions, the Portuguese minister stressed that the “visit takes place at a very important moment, when the new Government of Timor-Leste is at the beginning of its functions” and at a time when Portugal is “preparing the new strategic cooperation program, between 2024 and 2028”.

“It is a visit of friendship, of work, but also of opening doors so that our ministers and ambassadors can then develop the work and design the new strategic cooperation program,” he added.

António Costa began today his first official visit to Timor-Leste, but also the first of a foreign head of government since the new Timorese executive took office on July 1.

Today’s agenda of António Costa’s official visit includes meetings with two historical figures of Timor-Leste: the President, José Ramos-Horta, and the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão.

The program of the two-day visit, in addition to meetings with the most important figures of the State, highlights the visit, on Wednesday, to the Santa Cruz cemetery, where the massacre of November 12, 1991, during the Indonesian occupation, and where more than 300 Timorese died.

The presence in the National Parliament, currently chaired by Fernanda Lay, the first woman to hold the position in Timor-Leste, is also scheduled for Wednesday, the last day of the official visit to the country of 1.3 million inhabitants, which ranks 140th in the United Nations Human Development Index.

The agenda of the Portuguese Prime Minister also includes visits to educational institutions, such as the Portuguese School of Dili, the i9nauguration of the new facilities of the Portuguese Language Center at the National University of Timor Lorosa’e and the Portuguese Cultural Center, as well as the Padre António Vieira Youth Center and the Externato São José.

Also accompanying António Costa is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who began an official visit to Southeast Asia on Monday, passing through Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines to discuss the intensification of economic relations.

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