DILI, 02 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The Minister of State for External Affairs and Education of India, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh met with the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, in Dili, where they discussed the possibility of opening the Indian Embassy in Timor-Leste.
During the meeting, Singh and Prime Minister Gusmão specifically discussed the plan to open the Indian Embassy in Dili, which is crucial for strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in various areas, including education, research, petrochemicals, and oil and gas exploration: “It’s an honor to meet with Prime Minister Gusmão.”
Singh said that India is strongly committed to sharing its experience and expertise to bring development to the Timorese people.
Singh and Gusmão also touched on Timor-Leste’s bid for ASEAN membership, in which India endorsed Timor’s commitment to building strong relations with other ASEAN countries.
Minister Singh also expressed India’s commitment to supporting Timor-Leste in achieving its goal of eliminating tuberculosis in the country by 2025.
Prime Minister Gusmão appreciated India’s initiative to cooperate with Timor-Leste under his leadership in several key sectors.
“Today is the International Day of Non-Violence, observed on october 2 every year, which is dedicated to honoring Gandhian principles. The day is observed on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and reflects upon his philosophy and commitment to non-violence as a means of social and political change. We therefore welcome India and review our plans for future cooperation,” said Gusmão.
India was one of the countries that first established diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste. The diplomatic relationship between the two countries was established on 24 january, 2003.
Bilateral trade between India and Timor-Leste hit US$25.36 million in 2021, with the main export products including agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, rubber, salt, and others.
According to a report, 30 Indian nationals currently work as advisors in various ministries, UN agencies, and international NGOs. Many others are entrepreneurs and carry out various commercial activities in the country.
The Association of Indians in Timor-Leste was established in february 2017.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins