US Assistant Secretary of State praises FRETILIN’s Petroleum Fund regime and role as de facto Opposi



Media Release

April 8, 2008

United States Assistant Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific, Ambassador Christopher Hill, praised the former FRETILIN government’s establishment of “a truly impressive petroleum fund” regime when he met yesterday, 7th April 2008, with FRETILIN Secretary General and former Prime Minister Dr Mari Alkatiri, during his visit to Dili.

“It was an extremely positive meeting. The United States of America has been a friend of Timor-Leste and one of our development partners since the restoration of our independence in May 2002,” said Dr Alkatiri.

“Naturally there is concern that there is peace and stability in our country and Ambassador Hill was keen to discuss issues of security and economic development with me, as the Secretary General of Timor-Leste’s largest and most voted party. We discussed FRETILIN’s continued role as the de facto Opposition in contributing towards achieving these important goals of peace, stability and social and economic development,” explained Dr Alkatiri.

“Ambassador Hill showed an understanding of the challenges confronting us Timorese in striving for these goals. I took the opportunity to impress on him the need for all political parties and leaders to strive hard to find mechanisms to achieve national consensus on national issues as the only way of achieving peace and stability and therefore development for our people and nation,” added Dr Alkatiri.

Ambassador Hill expressed to Dr Alkatiri his belief that the quality of a sound democracy is not judged by the quality of the government but that of its opposition, and in this context the two discussed FRETILIN’s ongoing role as a constructive and positive de facto opposition. Dr Alkatiri made it clear to Ambassador Hill that though FRETILIN “does not recognise the current government as legitimate, on important questions of state, such as the joint operations to pursue, arrest and bring to justice those alleged to be responsible for the 11 February attempts, FRETILIN will continue to give its support where such actions are directed at asserting and defending the constitution, our democracy, the authority of our state and the rule of law.”

Ambassador Hill took the opportunity to invite Dr Alkatiri to visit the United States of America, which Dr Alkatiri intends to take up in early May this year.

Ambassador Hill was accompanied by his special assistant Mr Chris Klein, Mr Hans Klem, US Ambassador to Timor-Leste, and the deputy head of mission in Timor-Leste, Mr Henry Rector.

Dr Alaktiri was accompanied by Mr Jose Teixeira, FRETILIN Member of Parliament and former Minister for Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy.

For further information please call Nilva Guimaraes in Dili: +670 7340389

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