Australia and Timor-Leste sign a reciprocal Defense Cooperation Agreement

Australia and Timor-Leste sign a reciprocal Defense Cooperation Agreement

Photo/Australia in Timor-Leste

CANBERRA, 07 september 2022 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste and Australia sign a reciprocal Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) at the Australian Parliament House, in Canberra, today.

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Defense of Timor-Leste, Filomeno Paixão de Jesus, and his Australian counterpart Richard Marles following a meeting between President Horta and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that Australia and Timor-Leste share a special relationship as neighbors with a shared history and deep ties.

“We have been working towards a DCA for over a decade and today’s signing is a significant step forward in our partnership,” said Albanese.

He said: “I was pleased to meet with President Ramos-Horta to discuss how we can strengthen cooperation, including Australia’s continued support for Timor-Leste’s development.”

“I look forward to meeting my counterpart, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, at an early opportunity,” he said.

At the same place, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles emphasized that the signing of the DCA heralds a new chapter in Australia’s close relationship with Timor-Leste.

“We are neighbors with a shared maritime domain, namely the Timor Sea. I look forward to seeing how the DCA will help enable joint maritime patrols between Australia and Timor-Leste,” said Marles.

In addition, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong said: “As a close friend and neighbor, Australia is committed to supporting Timor-Leste’s security and sovereignty, including through our enduring defense cooperation.”

“Australia welcomes this DCA and the opportunity it provides to deepen our close defense and security partnership with Timor-Leste,” she said.

Wong said the signing of the DCA is a key milestone as both countries continue working together to maintain a stable, prosperous region.

The DCA is a status of forces agreement that sets out the reciprocal protections, responsibilities, and privileges each country will grant the military personnel of the other in its territory.

The DCA will allow Australia and Timor-Leste to increase defense and security cooperation, especially in the maritime domain, given our shared border and adjacent maritime zones.

It will enhance the ability of both countries to operate together as required, conduct exercises and training, and cooperate on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The Agreement means Timorese military members operating, exercising, or training in Australia will receive the same protections, responsibilities, and privileges as Australian personnel will receive in Timor-Leste.

During their meeting, Prime Minister Albanese and President Ramos-Horta also discussed common security, economic cooperation, labor mobility and skills, the green economy, and Australia’s support for Timor-Leste’s ASEAN membership bid.

Journalist: Rafy Belo 

Editor: Cancio Ximenes/Nelia Borges 

Translation: Filomeno Martins 


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