Minister Phil Twyford will visit Timor-Leste this week to attend the 20th anniversary of the country’s independence referendum, on behalf of Foreign Minister Winston Peters.
“New Zealand has a warm relationship with Timor-Leste and has played an important role in the new nation since the 1999 referendum for independence” Phil Twyford said.
New Zealand has helped build Timor-Leste over the past 20 years, supporting the country’s transition to independence in 1999, deploying 5,000 troops as part of an international response to restore security and support peace from 1999-2002; and deploying military and police personnel and civilian observers in 2006 to support internal security during a period of instability.
New Zealand has also supported efforts to invest in human and economic development through the $15 million a year New Zealand aid programme in Timor-Leste.
Phil Twyford has a personal connection with Timor-Leste stemming from his time as executive director of Oxfam New Zealand. He will travel to Dili from 27 August – 1 September.