TPN/Lusa 23/8/2008 - Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa said this week he would sign two bilateral cooperation schemes in Dili later this week during a three-day visit to East Timor.
Minister Costa, who began his visit to Asia’s newest nation on Thursday, told the Lusa News Agency he would ink a protocol with his Timorese counterpart, Lucia Lobato, to assure the career and salary rights at home of Portuguese judges and magistrates recruited to serve in East Timor under United Nations auspices.
The current lack of such guarantees by Portugal had hindered the recruitment of judicial personnel to serve in Dili, the minister said.
A second protocol, he added, would broaden Portuguese aid beyond current bilateral programmes of training judicial sector personnel to help the former Portuguese territory “modernize” its judicial system in all areas.
“We plan to continue and bolster our judicial cooperation. Justice is, in fact, the priority of our cooperation with East Timor”, Costa said.
He was scheduled to meet all Dili’s top leaders, including President Jose Ramos Horta, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, and UN mission chief Atul Khare during his three-day stay in Dili.