Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, May 20, 2024

President J. Ramos-Horta hosted a State Banquet at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace to honor His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam during the Sultan’s state visit to Timor-Leste. The occasion marked the 22nd anniversary of Timor-Leste’s Restoration of Independence.

In his speech welcoming the Sultan, President Ramos-Horta expressed deep gratitude to Brunei for its immense support and solidarity with Timor-Leste during the nation’s building efforts since regaining independence in 2002. He praised Brunei’s leadership under the Sultan, describing him as a “steadfast and wise leader” who has been an example of peace, stability, and well-being in the region.

The President thanked the Sultan for Brunei’s generous backing of Timor-Leste’s regional integration efforts and pursuit to become a full member of ASEAN. Ramos-Horta voiced his great hope that this state visit marks the beginning of high-level exchanges to strengthen the fraternal cooperation between the two nations.

While acknowledging development gaps, the President stated that as the smallest ASEAN members, Timor-Leste and Brunei share common challenges and opportunities. He expressed commitment to expanding bilateral relations across strategic sectors like tourism, education, health, transportation, industry, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, farming, and environmental protection.

Ramos-Horta congratulated the Sultan’s compassionate leadership, which has ensured Brunei’s harmony and prosperity for decades. He elevated Brunei as an example of peace and fraternity amid global uncertainties.
The President voiced hopes to jointly work on green and blue economic opportunities aligned with ASEAN and COP28 objectives. He thanked Brunei’s Ambassador for untiring efforts to strengthen bilateral ties.

The State Banquet toasted to both nations’ friendship and the Sultan’s health and long reign as Brunei’s respected leader.

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