President Aquino welcomes visiting Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres in Malacanang

February 23, 2013 1:00 am 

MANILA, Feb. 22 — President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres as part of the continuing efforts to boost the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Malacanang Palace on Friday.

Guterres paid a courtesy call on the Chief Executive at the Music Room of Malacanang Palace. He was accompanied by Ambassador Juvencio de Jesus Martins, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to the Philippines.

Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste Ma. Aileen Bugarin, and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro.

Guterres arrived on Thursday for a two-day official visit in the Philippines.

In a statement, del Rosario said Minister Guterres’s official visit is a strong indication of the interest of both the Philippines and Timor-Leste to enhance bilateral relations, specifically in the areas of technical cooperation, human resource development and education.

Guterres held bilateral talks with Foreign Affairs Secretary del Rosario. In January 2007, when he was Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Guterres visited the Philippines as a delegate to the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Cebu City.

The Philippines has maintained strong ties with the young sovereign state, sending peacekeepers to the country since 1999. (PNA)

FPV/PCOO/SSC

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