09 February 2009

Timor-Leste sends solidarity and support to Australia following the bushfires of February 7

IV CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER MEDIA RELEASE Dili, February 9, 2009 Timor-Leste sends solidarity and support to Australia following the bushfires of February 7

The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, today extended solidarity and support to the people of Australia following the devastating bushfires in Victoria on February 7, 2009.

In a written statement to the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia and the Hon John Brumby, Premier of Victoria, Gusmao said 'The people of Timor-Leste understand the deep pain and suffering in the struggle to re-build lives after devastation. During our time of need, we could always count on the sympathy and support of the Australian people. '

'Now, on behalf of the IV Constitutional Government and the People of Timor-Leste, we wish to pass our condolences to the people of Australia, and in particular Victoria, who have suffered such a tragic loss of life.'

Gusmao also took the opportunity to recognise the extraordinary efforts of the professional firefighters who have put their own lives at risk to fight the fires, the efforts of the Australian Defense Forces who are providing assistance, many of whom have served with courage in Timor-Leste, and to all the emergency services, Government officials and volunteers who are working tirelessly to combat the tragic events.

Gusmao closed by saying, "In time, despite this catastrophic disaster, we have faith that all Australians will rally together to help those affected by the bushfires to recover and rebuild their lives." ENDS

For more information, please contact Agio Pereira, spokesperson for the Government, on tel. 723 0011 or agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl.
Image added by ETJLB - Horrifying walls of flame confront firefighters in the Australian state of Victoria on 7 February 2009. The tragedy has left more than 130 people dead, hundreds of homes destroyed and entire townships turned to ash.

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