Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alkatiri Hits Out At East Timor Talk

East Timor's main political opposition party has accused the government of being "totally incapable" of convincing the Woodside-led Sunrise joint venture partners that an onshore liquefied natural gas project based in East Timor is the best option for the field, writes Russell Searancke.

Mari Alkatiri, the leader of the Fretilin party and former East Timor prime minister, questioned whether the Xanana Gusmao-led government knew "the ground rules for the legal and technical process, which will guide the discussions" on choosing the a development option.Alkatiri was prime minister when the Timor Sea and the Greater Sunrise treaties were reached with Australia.He said the Fretilin party has always been "ready, willing and able" to contribute to talks with the Sunrise joint venture and Australian government."That is how we were able to negotiate the outcomes we did," he said. "We included civil society, opposition in parliament, the president."He added that recent media reports that the venture had decided on Darwin as the location for the LNG plant were "premature". (timorlorosaenacaolia-founihatetun.blogspot.com)

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