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Country Reports

Timor-Leste at a crossroads

Old challenges for a new government

On June 26, Timorese President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta will come to Germany to meet with Chancellor Scholz and President Steinmeier. Ramos-Horta is traveling at a crucial time for Timor-Leste. The small country is the most stable democracy in Southeast Asia, but it is also facing an economic precipice. Additionally, it is increasingly at risk of being caught between the geopolitical fronts in the Indo-Pacific.

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On June 22, the new government of Timor-Leste was inaugurated into office with a majority of the governing coalition consisting of CNRT and the significantly smaller Partido Democràtico (PD). The new Prime Minister is CNRT leader Xanana Gusmao, a hero of the independence struggle and the first President of independent Timor-Leste from 2002 to 2007. Prime Minister Gusmao and President Ramos-Horta face significant challenges. Although the young Southeast Asian country is considered a stable democracy, economic challenges are mounting. Massive gas reserves off the coast offer promising opportunities, but first, an agreement must be reached on extraction and refining. At the same time, China is attempting to establish a stronger presence in the small island state. However, Timor-Leste is actually counting on greater integration with regional partner countries. But time is pressing for the political elite in the capital city of Dili.

The full-length publication is only available in German.

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Dr. Denis Suarsana

Portrait Denis Suarsana

Head of the KAS office in Indonesia/Timor-Leste +62 21 7590-9411 / -9414


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