Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Timor-Leste, U.S. Conduct First Formal Military-to-Military Talks

A delegation from the Pacific Command (PACOM) staff was hosted by senior Timor-Leste civilian and military leaders in mid-August for the first Timor-Leste, United States Bilateral Defense Discussions.

The two delegations discussed the full range of military-to-military activities, from strategic dialogue and operational cooperation to planning and executing training, exercises, professional exchanges and related activities.

The Timorese side was led by Dr. Julio Pinto, Secretary of State for Defense, and Brig. Gen. Taur Matan Ruak, Chief of the Defense Force of Timor-Leste. Navy Capt. Patrick Kelly, the Southeast Asia Plans and Policy Chief at PACOM, led the U.S. delegation. U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste Hans Klemm also took part. Both delegations included representatives from multiple service branches and the wider defense and security community.

Of note, the Timorese delegation briefed its Force 2020 strategy, highlighting the creation of a national maritime authority and a long-term interest in participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

PACOM routinely conducts formal military-to-military discussions with friends and allies throughout Asia-Pacific. These discussions lay the foundation for identifying areas of mutual concern and opportunities to collaborate to address them.

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