Dili, May 20th, 2024 – President Jose Ramos-Horta and His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei held high-level bilateral talks in Dili today following an official flag raising ceremony.

The meeting focused on identifying new opportunities to deepen cooperation between the two nations across strategic sectors crucial for Timor-Leste’s development.

Key areas discussed included strengthening ties and partnerships in tourism, education, healthcare, transportation, industry, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food production and environmental protection. For Timor-Leste, enhancing collaboration in these sectors with Brunei is seen as pivotal to driving sustainable socio-economic progress and achieving development goals.

The bilateral talks came after the Sultan joined Ramos-Horta for an ceremonial flag raising at the Presidential Palace in Dili to mark the 22nd anniversary of Timor-Leste’s restoration of independence. As the newest and one of the smallest members of ASEAN, Timor-Leste views Brunei’s support and regional experience as invaluable assets on its nation-building journey.

No details were immediately available on specific agreements or initiatives that may have been proposed during the close door meeting between the two leaders. However, a joint press conference is expected later today where concrete outcomes and commitments from the talks could be announced.

The visit by the Sultan of Brunei comes just weeks after Timor-Leste was granted full membership into ASEAN, a goal it had pursued for nearly two decades since regaining independence.

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