Ambassador Kathleen Fitzpatrick Remarks at the Ground-breaking Ceremony of National Health Institute

To the National Health Institute Director Antonio Bonito, Pacific Partnership Mission Commander Captain Randy Van Rossum, our partners in local and national government, community members, and of course, the F-FDTL CAS Engineers and the U.S. Navy Seabees.  Good afternoon.

First, please join me in another round of applause for the members of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet band for their inspiring performances of the national anthems of the United States and Timor-Leste. I am happy to be here with all of you today for the groundbreaking of this new facility for the National Institute of Health. I would like to thank the U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FOUR (NMCB 4) and Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE (ACB 1), who will be working with the F-FDTL CAS Engineers on this project. This facility is the 95th project that the U.S. Navy Seabees have conducted in Timor-Leste since 2009.

The Seabees continue to serve as one of the most visible and enduring symbols of partnership between the United States and Timor-Leste. Continued cooperation between the Seabees, the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Health, and other partners will be vital to the success of this project. In fact, partnership is at the heart of all of our work and the reason why we conduct Pacific Partnership in the Indo-Pacific region. Pacific Partnership 2019 consists of multiple medical trainings, professional exchanges, and community engagements in Dili, Ermera, and Liquica.

By working together with our allies, friends and partners, we know that Pacific Partnership and all of our future efforts will be successful.

Thank you again.