Press Releases Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste: First Partnership Dialogue with the European Union takes place in Dili

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste: First Partnership Dialogue with the European Union takes place in Dili

On 15 February, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste) and the European Union (EU), held their first Partnership Dialogue, in Dili, Timor-Leste, in the aftermath of the signature of the Samoa Agreement in 15 November 2023.

The Dialogue was an important opportunity for Timor-Leste and EU to discuss several issues, including the accession and integration of Timor-Leste into ASEAN. Timor-Leste and the EU also discussed EU development cooperation for 2021-2027, investment opportunities provided by the Global Gateway and strengthening trade ties by jointly preparing Timor-Leste’s accession to the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EU conveyed its full support for Timor-Leste’s accession to the interim EPA and to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The parties reviewed political developments in Timor-Leste and the EU. Timor-Leste gave an update on the ongoing ASEAN accession process and the EU underscored its support for Timor-Leste’s accession and integration process into ASEAN. The priorities of the EU were outlined with a focus on the green and digital transition.

Climate change challenges were a key part of the discussions. Parties exchanged views on the recently concluded COP28 in Dubai, where both reaffirmed their commitment to promoting ambitious climate action and leadership, and staying under the 1.5 degree threshold.

The Partnership Dialogue attested to shared values including democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and the defence of the multilateral system with the UN at its core and a rules-based international order. Parties took stock of the progress made in implementing the recommendations made by the EU Election Observation Missions.

Timor-Leste and EU also exchanged views on broader challenges of international development in times of increasing geopolitical competition. They reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, as well as priorities and commitments in the area of human rights, including gender equality and gender-based violence; environmental sustainability, oceans and fisheries. Peace and security concerns were also highlighted throughout the meeting with plans for further exchange of information on maritime domain awareness and conflict resolution, the latter within the g7+initiative.

Timor-Leste and the EU reiterated their commitment to strengthen their partnership at multilateral level, notably in the light of the upcoming UN Summit of the Future and the Fourth International Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). The EU and Timor-Leste are looking forward to the upcoming 4th SIDS Conference, which will take place in May 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda and should deliver a robust 10-year outcome for the sustainability and resilience of SIDS.

The constructive dialogue confirmed the areas of shared interest and common concern, where EU and Timor-Leste can deepen collaboration at all levels for the mutual benefit of their respective citizens.

The Dialogue was conducted under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Bendito dos Santos FREITAS, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste and Ms Paola PAMPALONI, Deputy Managing Director Asia and the Pacific, European External Action Service. 

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