Luanda, Angola – July 8, 2024. Timor-Leste’s President J. Ramos-Horta and Angola’s President João Lourenço held a joint press conference in Luanda, concluding Ramos-Horta’s second state visit to Angola. The event highlighted significant steps in strengthening diplomatic and economic ties between the two Portuguese-speaking nations. President Lourenço emphasized the importance of reciprocity in international relations, announcing his intention to visit Timor-Leste in the near future. He also revealed that Angola had recently opened an embassy in Dili, correcting a previous gap in diplomatic representation among CPLP (Comunidade dos Paises de Lingua Portuguesa) members.

During the press conference, both leaders discussed the signing of several cooperation agreements and the activation of the Bilateral Joint Commission, which Lourenço described as “an important tool for making things happen from now on.” The Angolan President stressed that the potential for cooperation between the two countries is limitless, emphasizing the need to identify and exploit these opportunities.

President Ramos-Horta announced the possibility of Timor-Leste becoming the 11th member of ASEAN in 2025. He stressed the potential for increased economic cooperation between Timor-Leste and Angola, particularly given Timor-Leste’s close access to ASEAN’s 700 million consumers with a combined GDP of $4 billion.

The Head of State Ramos-Horta proposed that Timor-Leste could serve as a distribution hub for products from Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and the CPLP in the Southeast Asian region. He called for more practical cooperation between CPLP nations, urging a shift from annual “romantic declarations” to concrete economic results. Both leaders expressed optimism about the future of bilateral relations, with Lourenço inviting Ramos-Horta to “feel at home” in Angola.

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