Visit to Japan by President Xanana Gusmão of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Meeting between President Xanana Gusmão of Timor-Leste and Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi
President Xanana Gusmão of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste visited Japan from February 23 (Monday) to 26 (Thursday) at the invitation of the Government of Japan. During his visit, President Gusmão had an audience with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, met with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi and other officials, and attended a public symposium entitled "Peace-building: Toward Rehabilitation of East Timor (Timor-Leste) and Afghanistan." The summary of the meetings is as follows.
- President Gusmão noted that the efforts of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) of Japan currently being dispatched to Timor-Leste under the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), alongside with its reconstruction assistance, provision of equipment and prefabricated buildings, and technical skill transfer, form a bridge between the two countries and are highly evaluated not only by the Government of Timor-Leste but also by its people. Furthermore, President Gusmão expressed his appreciation for the wide-ranging cooperation Timor-Leste was receiving from Japan including infrastructure development; dispatch of experts from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); assistance to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor that fostered national reconciliation between former pro-integration groups and former pro-independence groups; and assistance for the RESPECT Program which fostered reintegration of former military personnel back to the society, and he requested that Japan continue such assistance. President Gusmão also stated threats to its security remain ever present and that the continued engagement of the Peace Keeping Forces (PKF) of the UN would be necessary, while expressing his wish that Japan continue the dispatch of the SDF.
- The Japanese side stated that they were pleased to learn that assistance provided by Japan including the activities of the SDF dispatched to the region were appreciated by the people of Timor-Leste; and from the perspective that the stability and development in Timor-Leste are closely related to the interest of Japan since they are linked to the stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region, Japan would actively provide assistance for nation building of Timor-Leste which became independent only about two years ago (In relation to this, the Japanese side announced their intention to provide 500 million yen soon under the non-project grant aid program).
In addition, with regard to a successor mission for UNMISET, of which mandate is scheduled to be expired in May this year, the Japanese side stated that Japan, with the perception that the involvement of the United Nations is vital, intended to contribute in the process of discussions among countries concerned so that the Security Council will determine the new mandate of the succeeding mission in line with the interests of the people of Timor-Leste.
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