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TL receives a visit from Australian Minister Pat Conroy to strengthen bilateral relations

TL receives a visit from Australian Minister Pat Conroy to strengthen bilateral relations

Image Tatoli/Antonio Daciparu

DILI, 29 january 2024 (TATOLI) – Australian Minister for Defense Industry, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy visited Timor-Leste on january 29 and 30, 2024, with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation.

Following his arrival in country, Minister Conroy met with Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, and the Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Agio Pereira at the Palace of Government.

During these meetings, several important issues were discussed, from bilateral cooperation to regional and global dynamics, as well as Pat Conroy’s long emotional connection as an activist for the Timorese cause during the struggle for national liberation. 

Among the cooperation projects discussed were the programs under the responsibility of Pat Conroy’s Ministry, such as the Pacific and Australian Labor Mobility Program (PALM) and the seasonal work program.

In addition, they discussed the cooperation in the fields of defense and security, as part of the Reciprocal Defense Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries with a view to increasing cooperation in defense and security, especially in the maritime area, given the shared border and adjacent maritime zones. In this context, the actions to train the national military in responding to natural disasters and humanitarian support were also mentioned. Timor-Leste will also receive two maritime patrol boats from Australia later this year. In terms of education, the leaders addressed the training and capacity building of human resources at a general level and in preparation for ASEAN.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and Minister Agio also presented the programs and priorities of the IX Constitutional Government for its mandate and Pat Conroy assumed Australia’s willingness to direct support to Timor-Leste in accordance with these priorities. Pat Conroy also reiterated Australia’s support for Timor-Leste’s accession processes to ASEAN and the World Trade Organization.

Minister Agio Pereira said that, “this visit marks another important moment in the bilateral relations between Timor-Leste and Australia,” and pointed out that “over the years, after the restoration of Timor-Leste’s independence in 2002, bilateral relations between Timor-Leste and Australia have continuously strengthened, based on solid facts, given that our two countries are close neighbors with a shared history, a strong bond between people and partnerships in various development sectors.”

Also on the first day of his official visit, Pat Conroy visited the National Employment and Vocational Training Center (CNEFP) in Tibar, in the municipality of Liquiça, where he had lunch with former PALM Program participants.

These meetings were attended by the ambassadors of Timor-Leste and Australia, Inês Almeida and Caitlin Wilson.

On tuesday (30/01), Minister Conroy visited the Hera Naval Base and met with the Ministers of Defense and Interior, Donaciano do Rosário Gomes and Francisco da Costa Guterres, respectively, to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of defense and security.

 

Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins

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