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Portugal, Timor to sign programme on military cooperation

Diario de Noticias - January 17, 2005

The secretary of state for defence's visit to East Timor, due to start tomorrow (Tuesday 18 January), has been postponed until the end of the month. Jorge Neto is now expected to visit the country on 30 January, during which he will sign the Military-Technical Cooperation Programme for 2005 with the Timorese authorities.

According to Timorese official data cited by (news agency) Lusa, Portugal is presently East Timor's most important defence partner, as a result of the 5.4m US dollars-worth (4m euros) of military assistance.

(Editor's note: On 16 January, Lusa reported that the Portuguese official will remain in East Timor until 2 February. Portugal's assistance consists of armed forces training, equipment and maintenance support, among others.)

[From BBC Monitoring International Reports.]