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POLITICS, INTERNATIONAL, DILI, HEADLINE

Malaysia’s Independence Day: Horta applauds Malaysia’s commitment to support TL’s ASEAN membership

Malaysia’s Independence Day: Horta applauds Malaysia’s commitment to support TL’s ASEAN membership

President of Republic, José Ramos Horta (Photo Tatoli/Egas Cristóvão )

DILI, 12 september 2023 (TATOLI) – The President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta on Monday attended the ceremony of Malaysia’s 66th Anniversary of Independence and Malaysia Day 2023. 

In his remarks, President Horta thanked Malaysia and the Malaysian people for their continuous support for Timor-Leste since the country gained its independence in 2002.

Horta recalled that Malaysia was one of the countries that sent its Peacekeeping Force to the country twice, first during the 1999 referendum and then during the 2006 crisis.

President Horta also appreciated Malaysia’s support for Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN since the country officially applied for membership in ASEAN on march 4, 2011.

Horta said that Timor-Leste will work closely with ASEAN member states and partners in the coming weeks to implement the roadmap approved by ASEAN leaders in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, last year. 

Malaysian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Amarjit Sinh said the diplomatic relations between Timor-Leste and Malaysia predate the restoration of the country’s independence, during which Malaysians stood in solidarity with Timorese people in their quest for self-determination. 

In the coming weeks, Malaysia’s Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations is scheduled to host, and train 18 Timorese officials on the subject matter of ASEAN, under a Triangular Cooperation initiative with Australia. 

Since 2002, Malaysia has trained over 600 Timorese officials in a variety of fields under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program (MTCP), and Malaysian Defense Cooperation Program (MDCP). 

Ambassador Sinh said that in order to intensify bilateral engagement, be it at government-to-government, business-to-business, and people-to-people dimensions, an Air Service Agreement between both countries is scheduled to be signed in the fourth quarter of 2023: “We can expect direct and scheduled flights between Kuala Lumpur and Dili in the first quarter of 2024.”

Over the last two decades, Timor-Leste has warmly welcomed hundreds of Malaysian entrepreneurs, who have established and continue to operate their businesses and provide employment to a substantial number of Timorese. 

Independence Day (Malay: Hari Merdeka), also known as National Day (Hari Kebangsaan), is the independence day of the Federation of Malaya from the British Empire. It commemorates the Malayan Declaration of Independence of 31 August 1957. 

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges

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