Minister of Defense and The Australian Embassy hold a meeting on DPC program.

DILI : Ministry of Defense (MD) helds a coordination meeting with the Australian Embassy on Defense Cooperation Program.  This year, Australia will host the program.

National director of PEPI, Mr Martinho Goncalves Maia said the program is an annual and rotational program.  This is also a bilateral program and this Timor Leste will be the host.

The aim of the program is to prepare working agenda for activities that have been developed and for those that are still on preparation.  It is still on discussion, as the programs cannot be finalized within a year due to limited time.

The director said that the program focuses more on important areas such as naval, engineering, maritime security, training center, etc.

“It is an annual activity to assess which programs we can carry on and which programs we cannot proceed.  We also share new ideas on training and scholarship and gain advantages from this program as it helps our capacity building,” the director said to journalists when participating in the meeting, at the General Headquarter, Fatuhada, Dili (09/08/2018)

He said thus far, Australia is still a good partner to Timor Leste.  Australia offers good partnership in areas such as maritime security, as well as ongoing cooperation in capacity building and equipment supplies based on necessity.

A great deal of subjects were discussed, however they are still on discussion due to incomplete members of government and the fact that the National Parliament has not approved the government annual budget.

Hosting Defense and Cooperation Program this year will also bring benefits such as knowledge and experience to Timor Leste.  This is good as a learning session experience as we are still in the process of learning.

Other than that, the director informed that currently twenty five countries are having bilateral cooperation with Timor Leste in Defense area.  Therefore, the most important thing is to identify which area needs cooperation in order to avoid overlapping, meaning we cannot have cooperation in similar areas.

Regarding military vessels visit to Timor Leste, he said that there have been several vessels visit to Timor Leste such as from the US, Australia, Japan and China. Ministry of Defense will continue organizing the schedule of visit to avoid vessels visit at the same time.  We will also look at procedures of the visits. The visits are part of their exercises and other activities.  Hence, the visits need to be well planned in order to be in line with F-FDTL and PNTL availability and time.

Initially, we took all the visits, but we have learnt more on how to define who delivers basic, advanced and especial training.  We also become more experienced with all the meetings we have had so far.  The number of soldiers we have at the present is not the result of our only investment; but it is also the result of these cooperations.



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