José Ramos-Horta

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José Manuel Ramos-Horta (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ ˈʁɐmuz ˈoɾtɐ]), GCL (born 26 December 1949) is the second President of East Timor since independence from Indonesia, taking office on 20 May 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and a former Prime Minister, having served from 2006 until his inauguration as President after winning the 2007 East Timorese presidential election.[1] As a founder and former member of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), Ramos-Horta served as the exiled spokesman for the East Timorese resistance during the years of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor (1975 to 1999). While he has continued to work with FRETILIN, Ramos-Horta resigned from the party in 1988, and has since remained an independent politician.[2]

After East Timor achieved independence in 2002, Ramos-Horta was appointed as the country's first Foreign Minister. He served in this position until his resignation on 25 June 2006, amidst political turmoil. On 26 June, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, Ramos-Horta was appointed acting Prime Minister by the President, Xanana Gusmão. Two weeks later, on 10 July 2006, he was officially sworn in as the second Prime Minister of East Timor. On 11 February 2008, Ramos-Horta was injured when he was shot during an assassination attempt.

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Early history and family

Of mestiço ethnicity,[3] Ramos-Horta was born in Dili, capital of East Timor, to a Timorese mother and a Portuguese father who had been exiled to what was then Portuguese Timor by the Salazar dictatorship. He was educated in a Catholic mission in the small village of Soibada, later chosen by FRETILIN as headquarters after the Indonesian invasion. Of his eleven brothers and sisters, four were killed by the Indonesian military.

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