I would like to offer a few words about the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Forged as a new democracy just over 20 years ago, Timor-Leste has already set a fine example for others in its robust democratic institutions, journalistic freedom, and its resilience to adversity. As I have read and learned more in recent months about Timor-Leste’s historical struggles, I have come to deeply admire the fortitude and the sacrifice shown by the Timorese in their long struggle for independence. I also admire what is perhaps their more important contribution to the world in the post-independence era: their firm adherence to the path of reconciliation.
In Timor-Leste, there are echoes of our own American struggle for independence, and our own constant striving to be a better citizen in the community of nations, as Timor-Leste has done. I am humble about this, as we are all works in progress. I look forward to doing all I can to enhance the relationship between the people of Timor-Leste and the United States.