East Timorese president tried seducing former immigration minister

The Herald Sun

05 August 2008

EAST Timorese President Ramos-Horta says he tried, and failed, to seduce former federal government frontbencher Amanda Vanstone.

President Jose Ramos-Horta took a romantic approach to the former immigration minister when he was trying to secure entry for Timorese workers to Australia four years ago.

He told ABC Television, in a tongue in cheek revelation, he had first tried other government frontbenchers and was told to write to the then Senator Vanstone.

“Invite her for dinner, she looks like Nicole Kidman,” he recalled being told.

“So I wrote to her, a diplomatic letter but with some hints of romance … meaning I was very warm towards her.”

The president’s hopes were dashed.

He received a “bureaucratic-type” letter saying the guest worker scheme was not under consideration.

“So I was a total failure in trying to seduce Amanda Vanstone, she was not terribly impressed,” he admitted.

Mr Ramos-Horta noted Ms Vanstone was now the Australian ambassador to Italy, and said he was planning to visit Rome in October.

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