Strengthening Ties with Our Near Neighbours

TheTerritory Labor Government will continue to strengthen cultural and political tieswith Timor-Leste through an inter-governmental visit to mark tomorrows 20thanniversary of independence.

Timorese-bornTerritorian and Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson will represent the ChiefMinister at the ceremony in Dili and take part in a bilateral parliamentary representativeprogram of meetings with Federal members of Parliament.

Ms Nelson will also take the opportunity to talk to the Secretaryof State for Youth and Sport, Nelio Isaac Sarmento, about the nationsattendance at the next Arafura Games in 2021.

The 20th anniversary of independence, or Anniversary of the Popular Consultation, marks the dayin 1999 when Timorese people overwhelmingly voted for Independence fromIndonesia in a referendum.

Ms Nelson will attend severalofficial functions to commemorate independence.

MsNelson will continue talks on Timor-Lestes involvement in the 2021 Arafura Gamesafter officials from Timor-Leste advised at a bilateral meeting in Dili lastmonth that they would send a larger team to compete in the next Games.

Timor-Leste was the first country to sign upwhen the Territory Labor Government announced it would bring back the ArafuraGames.

Duringthis years Games, Timor-Leste was represented by 26 athletes and 21 teamofficials across para athletics, basketball (mens and womens), football andswimming (incl para swimming). Timor-Leste team won seven medals.

No NT Government officials are travelling with Ms Nelson. The total costof her trip is $947.

Quotesfrom Member for Katherine, Sandra Nelson:

TheNorthern Territory has an interestin the long-term prosperity of Timor-Leste and the continued strengthening ofbusiness, sporting and cultural ties between our regions.

Wehave a shared history and strong people-to-people links and Australia is Timor-Lesteslargest partner in development and security.

Opportunitiesto celebrate milestones such as the Anniversary ofthe Popular Consultation along with discussions on regional sportingopportunities, indicates the importance the Territory Labor Government placeson our continued partnership.

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