DILI, 20 May 2022 (TATOLI)-The new President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta, expressed his appreciation to the International Solidarity Movement for Timor-Leste’s Independence.

Horta made the comments when addressing the 20th anniversary of the Restauration of the Independence Day, at the Palace of the President, on Friday.

“I wish to thank the International Solidarity Movement around the world who contributed to Timor-Leste’s 24 years of resistance against Indonesian occupation. They still support us until today,” he said.

Hora thanked the UN for its crucial role in Timor-Leste’s nation-building process: “I would like to thank all nations who had been contributing to building this new nation.”

Horta pledged in front of the international guests and Timorese people to strengthen bilateral ties with neighboring countries.

“Efforts have been made and we will continue to work on all the preparation processes for ASEAN membership. If we won’t join ASEAN in the very near future, then we will strengthen our bilateral ties with each of the ASEAN members States,” Horta stressed.

In addition, he said Timor-Leste will also deepen its bilateral ties with European Union: “For instance, we currently have a very good diplomatic relation with Portugal.”

Horta stresses that Timor-Leste needed to build good cooperation with the Eastern Indonesia provinces, especially the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT).

“We also need to strengthen our bilateral relations with South Korea, Japan, China, and also India,” he added.

Horta praised the US as it has continuously contributed to the construction of the building of the State of Timor-Leste: “I intend to continue to foster this special relationship with more specifically I emphasize the importance of the Millennium Challenge Cooperation Program.”

“I express my appreciation to the US navy, the Seabees engineers who had been operating in Timor-Leste for over 10 years in partnership with Timor-Leste’s National Defense Force (F-FDTL) and we want to see the youth US Peace Corps Program in the areas of teaching English and support the rural development project to be restarted,” he said.

In addition, the New Head of State said he would carry out dialogues with all political parties, public officials, intellectuals, academicians, and religious leaders to promote peace and strengthen democracy in the country: “Our top priorities are health, agriculture, food security, nutrition, and clean water and sanitation,” he said.

“I would like to thank the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone, and Chairman of g7+, Francis Mustapha Kai-Kai, the Singaporean Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Second Minister for Education, and the Second Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore, Mohd Maliki Osman, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, MIYAKE Shingo, Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, President of the National Assembly of São Tomé and Príncipe, Delfim Santiago das Neves, the other special envoys of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), the World Bank, and the European Union,” said Horta.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario

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