Dili, March 11, 2024

President J. Ramos-Horta warmly welcomed the French Navy frigate “Vendémiaire” to the port of Dili, hailing the visit as a profound symbol strengthening the fraternal friendship between Timor-Leste and France.

In remarks to the frigate’s commanding officer, Ambassador Fabien Penone, and other dignitaries, Ramos-Horta reaffirmed Timor-Leste’s increasingly close ties with France, building on his visit to Paris earlier this year. He highlighted the bilateral collaboration as part of France’s new policy for the Indo-Pacific and ASEAN countries focused on peace, sustainable development, and regional stability.

The presence of the “Vendémiaire” represents cooperation in areas like maritime defense, security of fishing reserves and marine resources, and combating illegal activities like human trafficking. Ramos-Horta said French expertise would be “invaluable” in strengthening Timor-Leste’s maritime capabilities through training and technology transfer.

Beyond naval ties, the president welcomed French assistance for economic diversification in sectors like tourism, agriculture, sustainable energy and climate change mitigation. He cited the imminent support of Business France alongside Timor-Leste’s TradeInvest agency as a concrete step toward economic partnership.

Ramos-Horta expressed confidence that renewed commitment from citizens, investors and entrepreneurs of both nations can “forge new partnerships and achieve tangible and lasting results” for their mutual benefit. The visit marks an “exciting chapter” of deepening cultural, social, commercial and economic exchanges.

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Full Speech Here:

English | France (Original) | Portuguese