Taur Matan Ruak was forced to cancel a planned trip to Australia because he was infected with SARS-CoV-2, reaffirming the “fundamental importance” of the relationship between the two countries with his counterpart Scott Morrison, who in May 20 years old.
A relationship, explained in a joint release, was strengthened with a new phase of support that will total $30 million (17.6 million euros) for the next five years in the health sector alone, and which is intended for the provision of primary health care services. This includes improving nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and sexual and reproductive health.
During the meeting, Tor Matan Ruak welcomed the support provided by Australia in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the supply of the largest portion of the vaccines used in the country and the deployment of technical teams to support the Timorese authorities. is included. Among other help..
Australia has already provided about $30 million (€19 million) of budget aid and other aid to help restore jobs and respond to the economic impacts of the crisis.
Among the measures, the statement noted, is support for the National Program for the Development of Sukos in Timor-Leste, which “needed the creation of community infrastructure such as irrigation systems, small bridges and roads in more than two-thirds of all villages.” Permitted. Timor-Leste”.
In a joint release, the two heads of government explained that they had analyzed the “strong and lasting friendship” between the peoples of the two countries, while reinforcing the commitment of Timor-Leste and Australia in “defending democratic values”. agreed to keep. for economic reform.
In another context, Tor Matan Ruak reiterated Timor-Leste’s commitment to building a fiber-optic submarine cable connection, to the Australian branch, to the south of Timor-Leste, “faster, more reliable and more accessible to consumers.” To allow Internet services” and businesses in Timor-Leste”.
Tor Matan Ruak “welcomes the offer of additional support for Australia’s cable delivery.
The head of the Australian government confirmed that “Australia will also support the reconstruction of Dilli International Airport”.
The two leaders welcomed the new permanent trade route between Darwin and Dilly, operated by Qantas and which begins with three weekly flights (and five by mid-year) between the two cities.
The flights under the new air services agreement between the two countries – signed by Timor-Leste for the first time – will “(..) help increase opportunities for trade, tourism and labor mobility between the countries,” according to the statement.
The labor issue is one of the most important for Timor-Leste today, where in recent years thousands of Timorian workers have moved to Australia where they seasonally support the country’s agricultural sector.
The initiative, which represents significant income for Timorese families, is expected to expand this year – following the halt to the pandemic – with Timor-Leste “ready to mobilize more than 6,500 fully vaccinated workers Australia “.
“The strong demand for workers in Australia is expected to substantially expand the number of Timorese workers employed under the Australian Pacific Labor Mobility Plan (PALM) in 2022,” the statement said.
Also on the agenda of the meeting were issues related to the exploitation of resources in the Timor Sea, with the Australian Prime Minister calling his country “to deepen ties between Australia and Timor-Leste in development to create a partnership fund for LNG”. Committed. Trade in gas, including the use of carbon capture and storage”.
The meeting also analyzed common interests in the Indo-Pacific region, efforts to combat illegal fishing and smuggling, and Timor-Leste’s participation in multilateral organizations such as ASEAN and the WTO.