2 Dec 2013

East Timor helps fund new regional grouping

2:47 pm on 2 December 2013

East Timor has donated US$250 thousand to the fledgling Pacific Islands Development Forum.

East Timor's prime minister Xanana Gusmao was the chief guest at the inaugural meeting of the forum in Nadi in August.

China has also contributed funds to the organisation instigated by Suva and aimed at bringing the region's governments, businesses and community groups together to discuss development issues on an equal footing.

It is seen by some observers as a response to Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth.

The Fiji government says the latest assistance is a further sign of the deepening relations East Timor has with the region.