PM Lee Hsien Loong congratulates new Timor Leste PM Rui Araujo on his appointment

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to congratulate his new Timor Leste counterpart, Dr Rui Araujo (above), on his appointment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday, Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to congratulate his new Timor Leste counterpart, Dr Rui Araujo (above), on his appointment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday, Feb 16, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to congratulate his new Timor Leste counterpart, Dr Rui Araujo, on his appointment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

Dr Araujo, a New Zealand-trained former doctor, was formally named by President Taur Matan Ruak as Timor Leste's new PM last week. He replaces Mr Xanana Gusmao, the country's independence hero who had served as its president or premier since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002. He resigned two weeks ago.

The new government is due to be sworn in on Monday.

PM Lee said in his letter to Dr Araujo: "Timor Leste has made remarkable progress since its independence in 2002. I am confident that Timor-Leste will continue to progress under your leadership.

"Singapore and Timor Leste enjoy excellent bilateral relations and have a history of cooperation that predates Timor Leste's independence," Mr Lee added.

"I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the ties between our two countries and would like to invite you to make an official visit to Singapore soon.

"I wish you every success in your new appointment."