East Timorese Leader to Visit Dublin
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews T.D., announced today that the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao, will visit Ireland on Monday, 4 October. Minister Andrews will greet him at Dublin Airport prior to a meeting with the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. at Government Buildings where they will be briefed on the current situation in East Timor.
Speaking on his return from New York where he had raised the issue of East Timor at the UN General Assembly, Mr. Andrews said:
"We are continuing to support, in every way we can, the work of the UN and the international humanitarian agencies to secure the humanitarian needs and democratic rights of the people of East Timor. The meeting with Xanana Gusmao will give us an opportunity to see at first hand how best to proceed from here in assisting the people who have suffered so dreadfully."
The Minister and Mr. Gusmao have met on several occasions, most recently in Jakarta in September after the UN popular consultation in East Timor.
Xanana Gusmao will call on the President, Mary McAleese, at Aras an Uachtarain after his meeting at Government Buildings.
Last month the Government announced a grant of £1 million for the people of East Timor. Of this amount, £400,000 has already been allocated to the UN High Commission for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund and to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Government has also agreed, subject to a Dail resolution, to contribute approximately 40 Defence Forces personnel to the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET).