Sat, 27 Jul 1996

Portugal to study East Timor

DILI, East Timor: Dili regent Dominggos M.D. Soares said that he welcomes a Portuguese plan to study the development of East Timor after joining Indonesia in 1976.

"It is a positive non-political effort that could help amicably resolve the East Timor political problem," he said yesterday as quoted by Antara.

The planned study was proposed by East Timorese in exile during a recent meeting between pro- and anti-integration East Timorese.

The United Nations has yet to recognize East Timor's integration with Indonesia and still considers Portugal the legitimate administrator of the territory it colonized for about 450 years.

The regent said that any effort from any side to help resolve the East Timorese problem should be considered.

"Even Portugal can help East Timor as compensation for all the losses caused to the area during the colonial period," he said. (pan)