Luanda, 08 July 2024 – During the Solemn Plenary Meeting at the Angolan Parliament, President J. Ramos-Horta, on a state visit to the country, delivered an emotional speech. He expressed his gratitude for the solidarity and support Angola has shown to Timor-Leste since the independence struggle. President Ramos-Horta highlighted: “It is an honor to be here in this hall of Democracy, alongside the bust of Angola’s founder, Agostinho Neto. In memory of many Angolans, the heroes who fell for this country, I bow with respect and also with gratitude.”

In his speech, President Ramos-Horta recalled the historical solidarity of Angola and Portuguese-speaking countries during the difficult years of the Timorese struggle. He emphasized the importance of Angolan support in keeping the issue of Timor-Leste alive on the international agenda: “Angolan diplomacy has always been with us. They sustained the cause of Timor-Leste internationally, keeping the issue alive on the agenda of the UN General Assembly, Non-Aligned Movement, and all other international forums.”

Besides recalling the past, President Ramos-Horta spoke about the future of Timor-Leste and the importance of continuing development and reconciliation. He stressed: “The struggle for independence, for sovereignty, also involves the struggle for development. We still have a long way to go to ensure food sovereignty and sovereignty in food production.”

In his closing remarks, he expressed his admiration for the city of Luanda and his gratitude for the long-standing friendship between Angola and Timor-Leste. He also mentioned the opening of the new Embassy of Timor-Leste in Angola, strengthening the diplomatic ties between the two countries: “Once again, very, very sensitized, grateful for the long years of walking with us, for believing in the struggle of the people of Timor-Leste when many did not believe and said ‘it is a lost cause, it is an atrocious unrealistic’.”

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