IN BRIEF : Portugal offers Indonesia ties

Portugal offered Indonesia a partial reopening of diplomatic ties in exchange for the release of the East Timorese resistance leader, Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister Antonio Gutarres said yesterday.

"Portugal would be ready to open an interest section in a friendly embassy in Jakarta and to accept an interest section in a friendly embassy in Lisbon," he told reporters after an unexpected private meeting with Indonesia's President Suharto.

Portugal and Indonesia have been at loggerheads over East Timor since Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975. There have been persistent reports of human rights abuses on the territory. Reuter

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