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The United Kingdom is keen to strengthen ties and partnerships with Timor-Leste

The United Kingdom is keen to strengthen ties and partnerships with Timor-Leste

“We have already increased our relations and this will continue. The United Kingdom has taken a firm decision to develop our presence and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and Timor-Leste, in that context, it is a very important country”, Dominic Jeremy said. Lusa in an interview in Delhi.

“Timor-Leste is one of the most democratic countries in the region, which is in the process of joining ASEAN — and the UK became a formal friend of ASEAN two years ago — and we have decided that we will support that accession process, with training and capacity building,” he explained.

Among the projects already implemented or planned, support for food security, strengthening Timor’s resilience to climate change, the effects of which are already being felt in the country, and educational and economic challenges stand out.

“We want to demonstrate our commitment to responding to these needs”, he said, adding that the decision to open a permanent diplomatic mission in Dili was still being evaluated.

“It’s possible, it’s being debated. But from my point of view, I know that this commitment to increase engagement and engagement is important for the Timorese to have the UK play a major role in the country,” he opined.

He said the United Kingdom supports training Timorese civil servants in Jakarta and continues to study new initiatives to have a “more visible presence in Timor-Leste”.

The new UK ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste presented his credentials to Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta this week.

Jeremy, who lives in Jakarta, returned to Timor-Leste for the first time in 23 years after spending about a year in the country between late 1999 and late 2000 as the British Representative to the United Nations Interim Mission. Timor-Leste East.

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In addition to the official meetings, Jeremy met Timorese with whom he worked 23 years ago and others he supported during that time, to study in the United Kingdom through some of the first scholarships awarded before the restoration of Timor-Leste’s independence.

“I am very happy to be back. The world we saw together 23 years ago is very different from the self-reliant Delhi I visit today with tarred roads, ATMs, hotels, restaurants, shops and many businesses”, he underlined.

“I spoke to some of these first Timorese students who trained in the United Kingdom in diplomacy, medicine, nursing and more. And I saw that many of these young people are now holding positions of responsibility in Timor-Leste”, he said.

Jeremy said it was an “honour” to see the country’s progress and “an inspiration” to see these first graduates working and contributing to national development, and the current Timorese ambassador to the UK, Jono Paulo da Costa Rangel, also studied. United Kingdom.

Estimates indicate that around 50,000 Timorese immigrants may currently live in the UK, Jeremy stressed, adding that they make an important contribution to the country.

“We have a visa regime through which we want to encourage legal immigration to the UK. But we also want to look at ways to support Timorese to strengthen their qualifications,” he said.

“For the Timorese economy, remittances are an important component, which we accept and recognize. We want to continue to support this within the framework of the legal migration regime,” he said, adding that the matter may even come up in the future. As many Timorese hold Portuguese passports, analysis should be done together with Portugal.

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Regarding the ASEAN accession process, Jeremy opined that the process will benefit Timor-Leste and help strengthen its partnerships, consolidate economic growth and promote regional stability.

“As friends, as partners in ASEAN dialogues, we consider that Timor-Leste has great advantages in being part of this wider club,” he said.