Timor-Leste foreign minister arrives Thursday for official visit

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10:31 AM February 20th, 2013

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By: Tarra Quismundo, February 20th, 2013 10:31 AM

Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres PHOTO FROM TIMOR-LESTE.GOV.TL

MANILA, Philippines—Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres will arrive Thursday for a two-day official visit in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

Guterres will hold bilateral talks with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and meet with President Aquino during his stay in Manila, the DFA said.

“Foreign Minister Guterres’ official visit is a strong indication of the interest of both the Philippines and Timor-Leste to expand and enhance bilateral relations specifically in the areas of technical cooperation, human resource development and education,” said the DFA in a statement.

Guterres returns six years since last visiting the Philippines as the then deputy prime minister of Timor-Leste.

The Philippines has maintained strong ties with the young sovereign state, sending peacekeepers to the country since 1999 amid its struggle for independence from Indonesia.

As the East Timor transitions to self-governance, the Philippines is tapering off the presence of its peacekeepers there.

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