Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne hosted his Timor-Leste counterpart, Minister of Defence Brigadier General Filomeno da Paixao de Jesus, and said "the meeting was an opportunity to further strengthen the countries’ defence partnership with a particular focus on maritime security issues".
“As close neighbours, we have a mutual interest in a secure region, and working together is the best way to achieve this,” Minister Pyne said.
Timor-Leste is preparing to receive two Australian-built Guardian Class Patrol Boats for its military's naval component, along with a "comprehensive" package of Australian support to operate these vehicles.
“The Guardian Class Patrol Boats will provide Timor-Leste with a robust maritime patrol capability well suited to its needs, but this is only one element of the broader maritime security architecture that Timor-Leste is developing,” Minister Pyne said.
“Minister Filomeno and the Timor-Leste government have a great vision for an integrated Maritime Authority to oversee all aspects of Timor-Leste’s maritime security, and Australia will seek to support this vision in every way it can.
“I have offered Defence assistance to support Timor-Leste’s maritime domain awareness and we agreed to explore ways to strengthen our co-operation on maritime security matters.”
The meeting between the two ministers as Timor-Leste closes in on 20 years since the Popular Consultation for Independence in August 1999.
“We look forward to commemorating this historic milestone for Timor-Leste, and recognising its remarkable success over the last 20 years,” Minister Pyne said