From Delhi to Dili: India plans new embassy in Timor-Leste

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the opening of India’s embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste while addressing the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta

Dili is the capital city of Timor-Leste, or East Timor, on the country's north coast. The city holds importance as it recalls the nation's struggles for independence from Portugal as well as Indonesia.

India was one of the early countries to establish diplomatic relations with Timor Leste and was represented at its Independence Day celebrations in May 2002 by a high level delegation led by the then Minister of State for External Affairs. An MOU formally establishing diplomatic relations was signed on 24 January 2003.

India's decision to open an embassy in Dilli its commitment to the Act East policy.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi said that ASEAN is the central pillar of India's Act East policy and it has an important place in India's Indo-Pacific initiative. He also termed the engagement with the ASEAN group as an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy'.

"Our history and geography unite India and ASEAN. Along with it, our shared values, regional integration, and our shared belief in peace, prosperity and a multipolar world also unite us. ASEAN is the central pillar of India's Act East Policy. India supports ASEAN's outlook on ASEAN-India centrality and Indo-Pacific," PM Modi said in his address in Hindi.

In his departure statement, before leaving for Jakarta on Wednesday, PM Modi noted that engagement with the ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy’, and said he is looking forward to exchanging views with leaders of the grouping on the “future contours" of partnership which has now entered its fourth decade.

“My first engagement will be the 20th ASEAN-India Summit. I look forward to discussing with ASEAN leaders the future contours of our partnership, which has now entered its fourth decade. Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East' policy,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi, who is in Jakarta, will return to New Delhi on Thursday evening ahead of the G20 Summit, which will be held on September 9 and 10.


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