DILI, 16 march 2023 (TATOLI) – The Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Bill Costello, together with the US Chargé d’Affaires, Thomas Daley, today briefed the President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta, on the nuclear submarine plans under the security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The AUKUS security pact was announced in 2021, to allow Australia to get access to nuclear-powered submarines.
Under the AUKUS nuclear submarine agreement, Australia is expected to purchase its first three US-made nuclear-powered submarines.
Australia has revealed its plan to buy up to 8 nuclear-powered attack submarines which are expected to cost up to $368 billion.
“My visit today, with the US charge de affairs was for the purpose of briefing the Head of State on the important announcement made by the president of the US, Joe Biden, Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, and the Prime Minister of UK, Rishi Sunak regarding our future cooperation on the development of Australia’s capability to operate conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines,” Ambassador Costello told the reporter today after a meeting with President Horta at the Presidential Palace in Dili.
He said it is a long-term plan for Australia to operate nuclear submarines in response to the strategic environment in the Pacific region.
Costello, therefore, said: “We are partnering with the US and the UK to build the capability to operate those submarines safely and securely.”
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges