Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, His Excellency President, Ministers, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice, Members of the People’s Majlis:

We are all gathered here today welcoming and feasting with our visiting President of Timor-Leste.

Of course both our countries are far apart in geography but we share a number of commonalities.

Both our countries have come against the odds in trying to establish democratic forms in our countries. Timor-Leste experience is of course is much, much harsher than ours. Many people died in the process in that country, including members of the President’s own family.

The President is a glaring example of how determination can win freedom to a people. The President is also another example on how smooth transfers can be made sustainable by understanding, by dialogue, through negotiations, instead of going more slippery, harsher paths of justice in readdressing the balance.

We are willing to learn from the experience of Timor-Leste and I’m sure Timor-Leste will also be willing to understand how this country has dealt with many issues – issues of development, education, healthcare, sanitation, governance, entrepreneurship and many more.

We believe that this is a good beginning for both our countries to build a very good relationship. We can meet that the challenges that we face – domestic challenges as well as international challenges, climate change issues and many other challenges together.

I am confident that with the conversations and with the discussions that we have with our visiting delegation, with the President himself, we will be able to come to a very strong footing on how we can collaborate

Just before I finish, I would like to raise a toast to the good relationship, friendship between both our countries.

Thank you.