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Witness K case is not related with Timor – Leste Featured

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Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop   

DILI – Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop stated that the Witness K case facing legal process is a domestic matter to Australia and has nothing to do with Timor-Leste and not involve Timor - Leste. 

“The matter of witness K is domestic legal issue for Australia. Its prosecution there is on the way so I don’t intent so say anything about it but would compromised in any way but this is not a matter in relation to Timor – Leste. It’s a matter for domestic legal process in Australia. It’s not a matter that involve Timor – Leste,” Bishop said in a press conference in Dili today.  

Bishop added, the other point that where Australia see Timor – Leste in 10 years time it is a hope that in partnership with Timor – Leste we will see prospect independent Timor – Leste taking part in regional discussion, regional association, having membership of relevant groups that we enhance Timor – Leste standing in the region. We hope that they will be a vibrant and driving private sector here to thrive economic growth and job opportunities. 

We hope that the democracy will continue as it has demonstrated in the most recent election free, open and fair. That is I wish for Timor – Leste, and I hope that a share wish and Australia will do all we can as long standing partners to support Timor – Leste in their aspirations. 

Bishop also rejected Xanana Gusmao’s allegation that Australian government make collusion with oil and gas companies to bring pipeline to Darwin, Australia. 

“No, that is not true and make it quickly at the time when at least was published but not is the bill conciliation commission, that is not what Australian government seeking to do. We are determine to ensure that the development of Greater Sun Rise (GSR) a maximizes the benefit for the people of Timor – Leste”.

How matter is done is the matter to determine joint venture partners and we stand ready to support Timor – Leste in finding that path way to ensure that the development of Greater Sun Rise maximizes the potential benefit for the people of Timor – Leste.

In March the government signed a maritime border treaty with Australia, largely ending decades of diplomatic negotiations, which included accusations of spying by Australian officials, and hostility over the division of billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

Australia’s decision to formally recognise the violent invasion and occupation of Timor-Leste by Indonesia in the 1970s was largely driven by its desire to secure an advantageous maritime border.

The prime minister elect, Gusmão, had led the treaty negotiations with Australia but just days before the treaty was signed he accused Australia of collusion. He did not attend the signing.

The exact division of the oilfields remains to be decided. Timor-Leste hopes to have the gas piped back to its purpose-built processing plant on its southern coast. Australia, and reportedly the proponents, want it to go to Darwin.

However on the eve of the signing a letter emerged, written by Gusmão to the UN conciliation committee, dated 28 February, accusing Australia of colluding with oil companies.

Gusmão said Australia was not neutral, and was actively supporting a Darwin pipeline, which could potentially be perceived as collusion. An offer of $100m to Timor Leste amounted to a week’s worth of revenue and Gusmão dismissed it as a PR exercise.

Gusmão, who has led negotiations, has consistently pushed for the gas to be piped to Timor-Leste for processing rather than Darwin.

He wrote that Timor-Leste was willing to give up an extra 10% of the revenue share in return for the gas being piped to his country, which would return $25bn in economic benefits.

He suggested the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, should use the estimated $3bn extra revenue to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which Gusmao said he had noticed no change in during his decades of visiting the Northern Territory. He annexed examples of Australia’s Indigenous affairs policies and statistics to “explain the need”.

The letter also accused the commission of lacking impartiality, showing a “shockingly superficial assessment” of Timor’s needs, and attempting to put forward formal recommendations on development with flawed technical information.

He said Timor-Leste’s only choice was to sign the agreement confirming the boundary but make no agreement on how Greater Sunrise would be developed. (Oki) 

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Last modified on Monday, 30 July 2018 22:40
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