Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Dili, Timor-Leste (May 23, 2024)

In a ceremony at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace today, President José Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, received the credentials of José Andrade de Lemos as Angola’s new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Timor-Leste.

Lemos Brings Decades of Diplomatic Experience
Ambassador de Lemos is a highly accomplished Angolan diplomat with over 30 years of experience under his belt. He previously served as a mentor at the Office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (SSFA) in Angola. His past ambassadorial postings include representing Angola to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Strengthening Ties Between Portuguese-Speaking Nations
The appointment comes as Timor-Leste and Angola look to deepen cooperation within the framework of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). Timor-Leste recognizes Angola’s expertise in the oil and gas industries and is keen to partner on energy projects.

Angola will be the first Portuguese-speaking African nation to open an embassy in Timor-Leste, further cementing the longstanding diplomatic bonds between the two former Portuguese colonies that both waged struggles for national liberation.

Regional Issues on the Agenda
Beyond bilateral ties, the two nations back each other on regional affairs as well. This includes Timor-Leste supporting Angola’s position on Western Sahara, while Angola endorses Timor-Leste’s efforts to join ASEAN. They are also aligned on the South China Sea maritime dispute, advocating for its peaceful resolution through diplomacy.

In his interview after the ceremony, President Ramos-Horta expressed confidence that de Lemos’ appointment augurs a new era of closer friendship and cooperation between the two nations. The veteran ambassador’s decades of experience will be an asset in elevating Timor-Leste’s partnership with the resource-rich Angola.

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