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Visit of the President of the Portuguese Republic.

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I am pleased to announce that the President of Portugal, His Excellency Mr Jorge Sampaio, will visit Australia from 20 to 26 May, travelling to Darwin, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

Portuguese explorers were amongst the first European visitors to Australian shores. More recently Australia enjoys a warm, expanding and contemporary relationship with Portugal. Our collaboration has provided essential support for East Timor’s successful transition to independence. East Timor remains an important element of our shared and growing interests. President Sampaio’s visit to Australia and my opportunity to meet with Portuguese Prime Minister Durao Barroso in Dili during East Timor’s independence celebrations, underscore this joint commitment to East Timor and to broader bilateral collaboration.

Portugal and Australia have much to offer each other and I welcome President Sampaio’s visit to Australia. Mr Anderson, as Acting Prime Minister, will meet President Sampaio in Canberra. I look forward to meeting the President in Sydney on 25 May on my return from China.

17 May 2002