Nusa Dua – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set to visit Timor Leste on Tuesday to discuss efforts to speed up land and maritime border resolutions, as well as to boost bilateral trade and cooperation on investment, energy and infrastructure, in his first state visit to Dili since he took office.
The two remaining unresolved land border segments, Noel Besi – Citrana and Bijael Sunan – Oben, are still under ongoing negotiation, although, during a bilateral meeting between Jokowi and Timor Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo in Jakarta late last year, the two countries agreed to seek to resolve the two segments by the end of last year.
"The state visit will be used by Indonesia to improve ties between the two countries, as well as to assert Indonesia's commitment to becoming a main partner for Timor Leste's development [agenda]," Indonesia's Foreign Ministry stated in a press release on Monday.
Jokowi is set to fly to Dili from Bali to meet with Araujo and Timor Leste President Taur Matan Ruak on Tuesday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir confirmed that Jokowi's visit would also seek to speed up negotiations on two unresolved land border issues, saying that technical teams from the two countries had also met for negotiations.
"Currently, a joint field survey is underway. It aims to meet with traditional groups who live on and own rights to customary land in the unresolved segments [of land]," Arrmanatha said, adding that negotiations on the delimitation of the maritime border areas were still in progress.
Indonesia and Timor Leste have been negotiating border issues since 2002, soon after the latter formalized its independence from Indonesia following a UN-supervised referendum held in 1999. By 2013, Indonesia and Timor Leste had agreed on more than 900 coordinates as border points, but two land border areas, Noel Besi – Citrana and Bijael Sunan – Oben, remain unresolved.