News Items

May 19, 2014
On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I send my warmest wishes and congratulations to the people of Timor-Leste as you celebrate the 12th anniversary of your independence this May 20.
Jun 3, 2013
Vice-Minister of foreign affairs of Timor-Leste H.E. Dr. Constâncio Pinto received Copies of Credentials letters from 5 Ambassadors: H.E. Monsignor Joseph Marino, Ambassador of The Holy See (Apostolic Nunciature), H.E. Eduardo Assmusen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile, H.E. Alberto Leopoldo Fajarino, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Uruguay, and H.E. Mohammed Bin Khater Ibrahim Al- Khater, Ambassador of Qatar.
Jun 3, 2013
Singapore and Timor-Leste have signed an Air Services Agreement that will facilitate the continued growth of links between both countries, boosting bilateral trade and investment.
Apr 2, 2013

Dili, March 23, 2013: H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, accompanied
by First Lady, Dr. Isabel Ferreira, and the presidential delegation, arrived
home, on Friday (22/3/2013), from the official visit to the Vatican.

Nov 6, 2012
Timor-Leste has stumbled. Today, it is standing again. The recent elections demonstrate that a post-conflict state such as ours can emerge from fragility to achieve peace and stability and serve as a model to other countries...
Sep 14, 2012
On September 8, The Asia Foundation commemorated International Literacy Day for the first time in Timor-Leste. The Foundation partnered with the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Alola Foundation, Care International, and Timor Aid to host a book fair for primary and secondary students. More than 4,000 books were distributed to schools in Dili...
Aug 2, 2012
The Government of Timor-Leste congratulates Her Excellency Emilia Pires on her appointment to the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons advising the United Nations on the global development agenda post 2015. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the 26-member panel this week. Ms. Pires will be contributing to shaping the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda with “the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core.” She brings a wealth of experience to the role, including her five years as the Finance Minister in the IV Constitutional Government where she contributed to major economic reforms underpinning ongoing stability and accelerated development.
Jul 12, 2012

As the people of Timor-Leste went to the polls, it became clear that this island country on the edge of Southeast Asia has come a long way since achieving its independence just 10 years ago. Citizens from all over the country cast their vote for the future of their homeland on July 7 in an election cycle that was conducted freely, peacefully and fairly.

UN Photo/Martine Perret:

Feb 13, 2012
I am very pleased to be here today. It is the first time that Timor-Leste has attended a NAM meeting on the Advancement of Women, although our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been active in other NAM initiatives. My office of the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI) is the Government of Timor-Leste’s main body responsible for the design, execution, coordination and assessment of areas related to the promotion and defense of gender equality.
Sep 27, 2011


New York, 23 SEPTEMBER 2011

Aug 19, 2011
Your visit, distinguished Minister, particularly on a date so full of symbolism in affirming Timor-Leste as a sovereign and independent State, fills us with gratitude, and represents another important step in the strengthening bonds of friendship between our two peoples.
Aug 2, 2011

Bali – 21th of July 2011

Press Release

Today, 21st July 2011, at the margins of the 45th AMM, PMC and 19th ARF, His Excellency Minister da Costa joined his counterpart; HE Dr Marty Natalegawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia; Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand; Hon Ano Pala, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Papua New Guinea; Hon Albert del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines attended the 9th Southwest Pacific Dialogue, chaired by Hon Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, at the Bali International Convention Centre.

During the meeting, ministers candidly discussed and exchanged their views on Maritime Security issues, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relieve, Counter-Terrorism, Democracy and Connectivity, as well as various issues of mutual interest pertaining to the developments in the region and reaffirmed their commitment strengthen cooperation and partnerships among the Southwest Pacific Dialogue member countries.

Jul 9, 2011

Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros


Dili- July 9 2011

Minister Da Costa Welcomes Kevin Rudd As Friend Of Timor-leste

The Minister of Foreign Affairs today welcomed his Australian counterpart, the Honorable Kevin Rudd M. P, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, “as a friend of Timor-Leste”.

Speaking after a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Minister da Costa said it was a great honour to welcome Foreign Minister Rudd back to Timor-Leste. “Foreign Minister Rudd is a great friend of Timor-Leste and we know that Timor-Leste has a special place in his heart,” said Minister da Costa.  The Minister added, “Minister Rudd knows very well our country  Timor-Leste, and we consider him to be one of us.”

In response, Minister Kevin Rudd spoke of the valuable relationship between Australia and Timor-Leste. “I am proud that Australia is a long-term partner of Timor-Leste, it is great to be back and I tell you that Timor-Leste has a significant place in my heart.”

Minister da Costa and Minister Rudd discussed a number of issues of mutual interest including Australian full support for Timor-Leste’s membership to ASEAN, the UN transition mandate in Timor-Leste, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and security.  In the areas of education and health, Minister Rudd told journalists that Australia has just refurbished 3,000 classrooms and assisted with 43,000 surgical procedures, including 8,000 for people in life-threatening situation, as example of Australian assistance to the country. Minister Rudd also spoke of the combined challenge to lift people from poverty, and reiterated Australian long term engagement with Timor-Leste

Minister Rudd is on a two-day official visit to Timor-Leste at the invitation of Minister Zacarias da Costa.


For Further details please contact
Maria-Gabriela Carrascalão H
Media Advisor
Gabinete do Ministro
Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros
Email:    tel: +670 723 5288 or 730 4231

Jun 22, 2011

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste
Ágio Pereira

June 22, 2011
Díli, Timor-Leste

Shell’s conflict of interest in Greater Sunrise excludes them from development dialogue

(View/download PDF version: media_release_6-22-11_Shell_conflict_of_interest.pdf)

Cost overruns, non-compliance issues and poor management in the development plans for Greater Sunrise by Australia’s Woodside has seen the company this year take a back seat to JV partner Shell, with Shell now taking the front line in a media campaign to push their costly FLNG technology.

Observers note, Royal Dutch Shell PLC is not only a JV partner in Greater Sunrise with a 26.6% stake, but also boasts being a ‘pioneer’ by leading ‘a revolution’ as producer of the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas facility. Despite analysts serious doubts to costs, scientific readiness, and applicability to the field for use of the FLNG technology, Shell, like Woodside, has adopted a bulldoze PR campaign to coerce Timor-Leste and Australian citizens to pay for the technology. With a commercial conflict of interest that dates back more than a decade, Shell should be exempt from the debate to ensure integrity of process.

Ágio Pereira Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers noted “Conflict of interest is a serious challenge within the petroleum industry, there needs to be absolute transparency in this debate. Shell cannot independently advocate for the best commercial advantage of the development of Greater Sunrise when Shell has a commercial conflict of interest. Shell decided on the FLNG option and then announced the order of the FLNG units before the debate had ever begun.’

Prior to any of the treaties being signed between Timor-Leste and Australia, in mid-2001 and before Timor-Leste had even reached full independence in 2002, Shell’s Development Submission 51 to the Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties confirmed a floating LNG development had been selected as the best option for Greater Sunrise; informing the Committee over $6 million dollars had been invested into a technical program to finalize the FLNG concept.i The Timor-Leste option was not considered.

Oddly, Shell’s invitation to tender for the FLNG was issued in June, 2008. In October of 2008, Isabella Loh, chief executive officer of Shell Marine Products, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said “Our customers are facing hard challenges, the credit crunch has affected liquidity and is having an impact on shipyards with cancellations and postponed orders, and expansion may be on hold.”ii Almost two months later, December 19, 2008, Bloomberg reported: Shells’ FLNG was the answer to the massive decline and near collapse of the shipping market; “Shell’s plan for untried floating gas-export terminals will spur billions of dollars in orders as the shipping market collapses.”iii

The “billions” would be recouped by nations like Australia and Timor-Leste to support the new technology even though the proposed FLNG in Greater Sunrise would produce one million tonnes less per year than export pipelines; increasing operating costs over the life of the project; with more costs for tax payers to pay and the JV partners to gain.

Woodside and Shell have been reluctant to fully comply with requirements to make a thorough investigation of the option of piping Sunrise gas to Timor-Leste. Independent studies by the Government of Timor-Leste have already confirmed the viability and commercial feasability of this option. Further studies have recently added to the body of evidence supporting the case for Timor-Leste processing as the most timely, cost effective and risk-averse due to deep water column protection.

The Secretary of State noted “There is little dignity in operating on false pretense and a lack of transparency continues to be a major concern around what Shell has been planning for over a decade prior to any agreements required by Timor-Leste and Australia on a development option. What is clear is that the conflict of interest is rife and Shell cannot be an independent party to this assessment.” ‘Timor-Leste will not operate within the sphere of corporate stratagem and non- transparency. This is why Timor-Leste has achieved fully compliant status with the EITI and has been cited as leading the way in all aspects of resource management and transparency. We are setting a new global standard in doing business and while we understand it might take our partners a little longer to adjust their practices, we expect Shell to promptly align accordingly” ENDS

Ágio Pereira +670 723 0011

i Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, (Submission 51)
August 2002, page 2
Read here:

ii Ship Rates Plunge as Credit Freeze Strands Cargo, Demand Slumps
Bloomberg, October 15, 2008, Alaric Nightingale and Chan Sue Ling

iii Samsung Bet on Shell Floating LNG as Orders Fall
Bloomberg, December 19, 2008, Dinakar Sethuraman and Angela Macdonald-Smith

Jun 18, 2011
Kenyan athlete Sammy Kiptoo won the II International Dili Marathon, followed by the Timorese Augusto Ramos, in second place, and Calisto da Costa, in third place: both will participate at NY Marathon.
Jun 17, 2011
The Head of State today held a press conference namely to explain his criteria on the promulgation of the Law for Electoral Administration Organs, and electoral laws for NP and PR.
Jun 17, 2011
The Chief of the Civil House of H.E. the President of the Republic, Dr. Gregório de Sousa, his deputy, Ambassador Hernani Coelho, and the Chief of the Military House, Colonel João Aluk, today sworn in.

Wishing you happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

                                                                                                                Constancio Pinto