Dili, November 15th, 2019: His Excellency the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, welcomed, this Thursday, at a hearing in the Government Palace, in Dili, Mark D. Clark, the U.S. Maritime Affairs Bureau Director for Southeast Asia.
In the meeting, also attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick, the Head of the Government and the Director of the U.S. Maritime Affairs Bureau for Southeast Asia discussed the relationship and cooperation between both nations.
Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak took the opportunity to thank the U.S. support to Timor-Leste in various areas and asked for continuation support in key sectors that are priorities in this Government’s mandate.
The Head of Government explained that the Government is currently consolidating areas such as defence, security, good governance, justice, the fight again malnutrition and the Tasi Mane project, and expressed the wish that the aid from the U.S. could be directed to those areas.
The U.S. Maritime Affairs Bureau Director for Southeast Asia, Mark D. Clark, in turn, stressed that the U.S. has a responsibility to Timor-Leste because Timor-Leste is a country with a strong and transparent democracy and a good example of reconciliation, which could contribute for peace in the region and in the world.
Mark D. Clark added that U.S. is committed to helping enhance Timor-Leste’s economy through support in agriculture, promoting tourism and helping to diversify the economy sectors, as well as assistance through the MCC (Millenium Challenge Corporation), in the clean water and sanitation program.
He stressed that the relationship between U.S. and Timor-Leste does not only exist at the level of State, between both countries, but also between both people. Finally, he expressed his pleasure that Timor-Leste was able to resolve the maritime border dispute with the neighboring country under international law, a procedure that may serve as an example for other countries in the world that have similar disputes.
The U.S. Maritime Affairs Bureau Director for Southeast Asia, Mark D. Clark, visited Timor-Leste from November 13th to 16th, 2019, with the aim of strengthening the relationship between Timor-Leste and U.S., as well as to present a vision for the Indo-Pacific region, which should be free and open.
During his stay in Dili, he also held meetings with the Timorese Government leaders and civil society in order to discuss the relationship between Timor-Leste and U.S., including the programs that the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste is leading. It also addressed the anti-corruption program, listened to young leaders about its goals, and met with the woman entrepreneur’s leadership, who have been supported through a U.S. Embassy partnership with the people of Timor-Leste.
In addition to being currently responsible for the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Mark D. Clark has worked in Indonesia, Malaysia, Haiti, Nigeria, and Kenya, and has been involved in the process of peace in South Sudan. END