Yesterday, in an article published in The Diplomat, Timor-Leste's Minister of State Agio Pereira wrote about Challenges and Opportunities: The View from Timor-Leste.
He writes about the place of Timor-Leste in South East Asia and the eventual inclusion of the young nation in ASEAN. He goes on to discuss recent investment and business prospects and well as the close relationship with Indonesia. Finally, showing the continuing priority of maritime border delimitation, he underlines the unfinished business in the Timor Sea and repeats the call for Australia to come to the table. Here is the last part of the article:
As evidence of how far bilateral relations between Indonesia and Timor-Leste have come, Jakarta has committed to work with Díli to complete the demarcation of the two countries’ land borders (now 98 percent drawn) and thereafter, to commence the delimitation of maritime boundaries.
Australia, however, has been unwilling to engage on the delimitation of permanent boundaries in the Timor Sea. Timor-Leste remains hopeful and optimistic that Canberra will come to see the long-term benefits – to both our countries – of establishing a more equitable and sustainable governing regime in the Timor Sea in accordance with the principles of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
As 2016 gets underway, Timor-Leste extends its hand and renews its invitation to Australia to come to the table to map a better and more just path forward in the Timor Sea.
Come on Australia - let's do this in 2016.