India and Timor Leste on April 11, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of public health to extend affordable healthcare to the people of the Southeast Asian nation.
The MoU was signed during Minister of state for social justice and empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar’s a four-day visit to Timor Leste.
The pact was in the discussion for more than five years. Its signing is expected to open more avenues of cooperation between the two countries.
MoU: Key Highlights
• Under the MoU, India has offered to share its expertise in matching information technology with healthcare through tele-medicine.
• India has also conveyed its intent to partner with the country in its socio-economic development.
• The two nations have also agreed to have enhanced interaction through bilateral institutional mechanisms to further strengthen the existing friendly ties between the two countries.
• Timor Leste expressed great desire to expand cooperation in building infrastructure, education and maritime sectors.
• It also brought up its desire to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as a member state.
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• The Minister of state for social justice and empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar was on a visit to the island nation from April 7-10.
• During the visit, Gurjar called on Timor Leste President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo and extended to him an invitation on behalf of President Ram Nath Kovind to visit India.
• Gurjar also recalled the ties between Goa and Timor Leste and extended an invitation to a delegation from the country to visit Goa and explore its ancestral and heritage linkages.
• Goa and Timor Leste were both under the Portuguese rule.
About Timor Leste
• It is a sovereign state, located in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor.
• It is separated from Australia-its southern neighbor, by the Timor Sea.
• East Timor was colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century and was known as Portuguese Timor until November 28, 1975, when a revolutionary front declared the territory's independence.
• Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year.
• The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a highly violent decades-long conflict between separatist groups and the Indonesian military.
• In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory.
• East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002 and joined the United Nations.