Dili, Timor-Leste – In a show of strong bilateral relations, President José Ramos-Horta attended the Open Office Reception hosted by the Brunei Darussalam Embassy at Timor Plaza on Monday, May 7th. The event provided an opportunity for the President to underscore the close partnership between Timor-Leste and Brunei.

Cultural Ties and Mutual Respect
During an interview at the reception, President Ramos-Horta emphasized the importance of respecting and participating in cultural events organized by foreign diplomatic missions and guests in Timor-Leste. “If our guests like embassies hold any ceremony, we need to show respect and willingness to participate, that’s why I came here,” he stated.

The President acknowledged that the Open Office Reception was part of the religious, cultural, and traditional celebrations observed by Muslim nations after the holy month of Ramadan.
Unwavering Partnership with Brunei

President Ramos-Horta confirmed that Timor-Leste enjoys an excellent relationship and cooperation with Brunei Darussalam. He praised the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, which has fostered peace, stability, and an absence of human rights crimes and radicalism in Brunei.

“I know His Majesty well, especially from the meetings and international conferences he always attends,” Ramos-Horta reminisced, recalling his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He expressed gratitude for Brunei’s steadfast support for Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN, which began during that period and continued with the establishment of the Brunei Embassy in Dili in 2015.

Royal Visit and Bilateral Strengthening
Looking ahead, the President of the Republic extended an invitation to His Majesty the Sultan to visit Timor-Leste on May 20th as a special guest at the 22nd anniversary ceremony of Timor-Leste’s restoration of independence. “We need to prepare well to welcome His Majesty,” Ramos-Horta stated, underscoring the significance of the upcoming visit in further fortifying bilateral ties between the two nations.

As Timor-Leste celebrates over two decades of hard-won independence, the continued partnership with Brunei symbolizes the country’s commitment to fostering regional cooperation and strengthening its global standing.

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