Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Hon Phil Twyford, will represent the New Zealand Government at the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence, and the inauguration of Dr Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s next President.
“Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste dates back to our contribution to the International Force East Timor (INTERFET) which provided vital support to the people of Timor-Leste through the transition to independence in 2002,” Phil Twyford said.
“In the 20 years since independence, Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Timor-Leste has deepened and broadened. We share a common commitment to democracy, human rights, respect for international law and multilateralism. New Zealand is proud to support the Government of Timor-Leste’s sustainable development priorities through the delivery of one of our largest aid programmes outside the Pacific. We are also strongly supportive of Timor-Leste’s aspirations to membership of the WTO and ASEAN.
“During my visit, I will reaffirm the friendship between our two peoples, and New Zealand’s commitment to support Timor-Leste’s ongoing development as a stable, democratic and prosperous nation within our Indo-Pacific community,” Phil Twyford said.
While in Timor-Leste, Minister Twyford will meet with members of the Timor-Leste Government including the newly elected President, Jose Ramos-Horta, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno.
Minister Twyford will also visit several New Zealand Aid Programme projects, host a function for alumni of New Zealand’s Manaaki Scholarships Programme, and speak at a trade and export growth event at Timor-Leste’s Institute of Business.
Minister Twyford has a long standing connection with Timor-Leste, stemming from his time as Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. He also travelled to Dili in 2019 as the Government’s representative at the 20th anniversary of the independence referendum.
Minister Twyford will be travelling from 16-24 May.