Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Dili, 13 October 2020
The President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, held a meeting with the Minister of Defence Filomeno Paixão, who informed him of the priorities of the Ministry of Defence for 2021.
The main focus will be on the establishment of the Maritime Authority and the adoption of the Military Strategy Concept which will lead to the definition of the ‘system of forces and the military apparatus’.
According to Filomeno Paixão, the Maritime Authority will be coordinated by the General Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Major-General Lere Anan Timur, and will be comprised of relevant line ministries linked to the maritime sector.
The establishment of the Maritime Authority will allow the state to save money on the ‘development of capabilities’, according to the Minister.
Filomeno Paixão believes that, for the F-FDTL to be able to conduct maritime security operations, they must be equipped with vessels which will allow them to monitor the coastline, including the southern coast and the Exclusive Economic Zone.
To support the Maritime Authority, the Naval Component headquarters are expected to be built in Hera next year, which will also be used as the Maritime Authority headquarters.
On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the Naval Component of the F-FDTL in January, the President of the Republic pointed out that Timor-Leste is not fully capable of ensuring maritime security and called for collective regional security as well as for the creation of a National Maritime Authority System model.
As far as maritime security is concerned, Timor-Leste, Japan and Indonesia are in the process of establishing trilateral cooperation. At the same time, the Australian government has donated to patrol boats which will be delivered by 2023 and has already stated its will to cooperate with Timor-Leste in this area.