Ambassador Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick Remarks at the 9th Bilateral Defense Dialogue

Good afternoon. Thank you for your hard work and effort and making this year’s Bilateral Defense Dialogue successful.

Thank you Brigadier Jenerál Falur Rate Laek for joining us and Colonel Coliati for hosting this BDD.

Major General Vares-Lum, thank you for coming all the way from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii.

I am very proud to say I received Minister Filomeno’s request to apply to join the State Partnership Program. I am certain once this program begins, it will be a tremendous boost for U.S.-Timorese mil-to-mil cooperation. Based on our talks today, we await your official request for assistance so we may initiate refurbishing the Baucau airfield and create future security cooperation opportunities.

We look forward to continuing significant cooperation over the next year: our U.S. Navy Seabees working side-by-side with their F-FDTL CAS counterparts on new projects, the U.S. Navy’s Humanitarian Assistance capacity building exercise, Pacific Partnership 2019, our International Military Education and Training Program, our English Language Training Program at Hera Naval Base, and another successful CARAT exercise next summer.

Today’s BDD strengthens the bonds of our friendship and demonstrates the people of Timor-Leste that the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the F-FDTL are committed to helping the people of Timor-Leste.

And thank you to our Timorese partners for hosting the 2018 Bilateral Defense Dialogue. Thank you very much. And we will see you again next year in Hawaii. Aloha!