Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong congratulates new Timor Leste counterpart Mari Alkatiri

East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri (centre) after his swearing-in ceremony in Dili, East Timor, on Sept 15, 2017.
East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri (centre) after his swearing-in ceremony in Dili, East Timor, on Sept 15, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote a congratulatory letter last week to the newly appointed Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Dr Mari Alkatiri, and invited him to visit Singapore.

"Timor-Leste has made great strides since its independence in 2002, including through your personal contributions during your first term as Prime Minister, and later as President of the Authority of the Oe-Cusse Special Administrative Region," PM Lee wrote in the letter dated Friday (Sept 22).

"As small states, we share many common concerns and interests and have worked well together bilaterally and at multilateral fora," said Mr Lee, stressing that Singapore's warm ties with Asia's youngest democracy predate the latter's independence.

Singapore remains committed to providing capacity building to Timor-Leste through the Singapore Cooperation Programme, and has been privileged to welcome over 600 Timorese officials to participate in our capacity-building programmes, he added.

"I look forward to working with you to further strengthen our bilateral ties."

Dr Alkatiri,67, was sworn in on Sept 15, after his party Fretilin won the elections in in July.