Foreign relations of East Timor

Relations with specific countries and regions
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Countries with embassies in East Timor
Countries with East Timorese diplomatic missions
Main article: Accession of East Timor to ASEAN

East Timor is the only country in Southeast Asia that is not a member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). East Timor also does not hold observer status in the group. However, East Timor has expressed its intention of gaining observer status to ASEAN in July 2002 and in 2006 was spoken of as requiring five years to become an ASEAN member. [2] ASEAN on the other hand has been inviting the small nation to many of ASEAN ministerial meetings as a sign of goodwill. In 2007 East Timor signed the ASEAN Treaty on Amity and Co-operation. [3] [4]

East Timor is a potential member of the East Asia Summit.[citation needed]
Main article: Australia–East Timor relations

Australia and East Timor are near neighbours with close political and trade ties. East Timor, one of the poorest countries in Asia, lies about 610 kilometres northwest of the Australian city of Darwin.

For many years Australia implicitly supported the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, giving priority to the policy of maintaining good relations with Indonesia. This policy was however changed in the late 1990s, with Australia starting to support UN, Portugal and other countries in the defence of the self-determination of East Timor.

Since then, Australia has played a prominent role in the young republic's history. Australia led the military force that helped stabilise the country after it chose independence from Indonesia in 1999 and also after the internal conflict in 2006 and has been a major source of aid since.

DFAT[1] (Department of Foreign Affairs) will manage an estimated $68.0 million in bilateral funding to Timor-Leste in 2015-16. Total Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Timor-Leste in 2015-16 will be an estimated $93.9 million.
Main article: Brazil–East Timor relations

Brazil and East Timor are both Portuguese-speaking and relations are friendly. East Timor has an embassy in Brasilia and Brazil has an embassy in Dili.

Brazil has a co-operation program with East Timor, that includes a wide range of areas, including labour policy, justice, national security, culture, agriculture, education, governance, sports, environment and health.

Despite the traumatic past, relations with Indonesia are very good. Indonesia is by far the largest trading partner of East Timor (Approximately 50% of imports, 2005) and is steadily increasing its share. Problems to be solved include, East Timor-Indonesia Boundary Committee meetings to survey and delimit land boundary; and Indonesia is seeking resolution of East Timorese refugees in Indonesia.
Main article: East Timor–Malaysia relations

Malaysia has contributed to many UN peacekeeping missions on the country, such as one are the Operation Astute during the 2006 East Timorese crisis.[2] Malaysia also has provided assistance to Timor-Leste in the area of human resources development through various training programmes and providing assistance to East Timor in its nation building efforts.[2] Currently, Malaysia has been consider by East Timorese as a model to develop their countries.[3][4]

East Timor has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur,[5] and Malaysia has an embassy in Dili.[6]

The close relations between Mozambique and East Timor are old, coming already from the time when both territories were Portuguese colonies. Before the independence, several Timorese political leaders lived in exile in Mozambique, including the present President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta and the former Prime-Minister Mari Alkatiri. Both the countries are members of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP). East Timor maintains an embassy in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

Being the only two predominantly Catholic nation in Asia, relations with the Philippines became very positive as soon as East Timor was multilaterally recognised as an independent state. The two countries are now engaged in a growing commercial relationship, as well as cultural and educational exchanges.

On 6 June 2013, both countries signed three agreements in Manila concerning infrastructure development, defence and education.[7]
Main article: East Timor–Portugal relations

East Timor has an embassy in Lisbon whilst Portugal has an embassy in Dili. East Timor was a colony of Portugal for over 400 years. As a former Portuguese colony, East Timor has a significant proportion of Portuguese speakers. Portuguese is one of the two official languages of Timor and it is a full member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

From 1986, Portugal started to make the