"We are standing with you as you work to build a strong democracy."
“My message to the Timorese people is this: The United States was proud to stand with you during your struggle for independence, and we are standing with you as you work to build a strong democracy with robust institutions, the rule of law, and protecting the rights of all of your citizens,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said recently in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Timor-Leste as an independent, democratic state.
“Strong democracies, we know from long practice, make more stable neighbors and capable partners, which is one of the reasons why the United States is advancing democracy and human rights as a central pillar of our engagement throughout Asia.”
Many nations older than Timor-Leste cannot say that they have conducted elections that are as free, fair, and credible as those that Timor-Leste held earlier this year; elections that led to peaceful transfers of power to the new President, Prime Minister, and Parliament.
“[There are] many ways that Timor-Leste and the United States are working together – from the robust military partnership between Timor-Leste and the United States Pacific Command, to our efforts to strengthen the justice sector, improve access to healthcare, develop agriculture, and expand trade through projects like the Timor Coffee Cooperative . . . in creating economic opportunity and transforming the lives of people in the rural districts,” Secretary Clinton said.
“These are partnerships rooted in our shared values, that deliver concrete benefits to people, and that help countries become stronger and more capable over time, so they too can play their role in solving regional and global challenges.”
“One of our countries’ shared priorities is making sure that the young people of Timor-Leste have the chance to live up to their own God-given potential,” Secretary Clinton said. “With 60 percent of the population under the age of 25 . . . we want to help support their future. So I’m pleased to announce a new $6.5 million scholarship program for Timorese youth to pursue academic degrees in the United States. We want to help you train a cadre of young professionals who will contribute to your country’s social and economic development and help foster lasting ties between our people.”