Dili, 24 January 2002

RAMOS-HORTA LEAVES FOR SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING

Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Josť Ramos-Horta left today for New York to attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on East Timor and the World Economic Forumís annual meeting.

At the Security Council meeting on 30 January, the Minister will give a briefing on the current situation in the country. Ramos-Horta and SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello will also request an extension of UNTAETís mandate to the scheduled date of East Timorís independence, 20 May, and present plans for the transition to independence and the launch of a UN successor mission.

Ramos-Horta will also attend the World Economic Forum Ė Annual Meeting 2002, which is taking place on 30 January-4 February in New York. The Minister is also slated to deliver a speech on East Timor at a gala event hosted by the Ford Foundation.

Ramos-Horta is scheduled to return to East Timor on 12 February. The SRSG will return five days later, following an official visit to Brasilia, Brazil.

EAST TIMOR DELEGATION VISITS KUPANG

A delegation representing East Timorís Second Transitional Government left for Kupang, Indonesia, today to attend a series of meetings with their West Timorese counterparts.

The two-day visit is part of an ongoing process to foster reconciliation and facilitate the return of East Timorese refugees still living in West Timor.

The East Timor Governmentís delegation, which is led by UNTAETís Head of Political Affairs Colin Stewart, is scheduled to meet tomorrow with West Timorese officials including West Timor Governor Piet Tallo, Head of Police Brigadier General Jacki Ully and a Military Commander Colonel M. Moesanip.

On the second day of their visit the delegation is scheduled to meet key-players helping to bring about reconciliation and refugee returns. The delegation will return to East Timor on Saturday, 26 February. More than 193,000 refugees have returned to East Timor since October 1999, following Septemberís violence.

PORTUGUESE MINISTER OF EDUCATION LEAVES DILI

Portugalís Minister of Education Jķlio Pedrosa left East Timor today at the end of a five-day visit during which he met with senior East Timorese and UNTAET officials and inaugurated a number of schools. Among the issues discussed during the visit was Portugalís continued support for East Timorís education sector. This fiscal year, Portugal has pledged 12 million US dollars for projects in the education sector. Outside of Dili, the minister visited Oecussi, Ermera, and Baucau districts.