India Announces Opening of Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste

India's latest diplomatic maneuver involves the opening of its embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste. This move holds historical significance and signifies India's commitment to strengthening regional partnerships in Southeast Asia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant announcement during the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, revealing India’s plan to open an embassy in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. This momentous decision underscores India’s unwavering commitment to its Act East policy.

Delhi to Dili: Strengthening Bilateral Ties

Dili, situated on the north coast of Timor-Leste, carries immense historical significance, as it symbolizes the nation’s hard-fought struggle for independence from both Portugal and Indonesia.

India has a long history of diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste and played a prominent role in the country’s journey to independence. In May 2002, India was among the early nations to establish diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste, marked by a high-level delegation led by the then Minister of State for External Affairs.

This diplomatic relationship was formally cemented with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on January 24, 2003.


A Commitment to the Act East Policy

India’s decision to establish an embassy in Dili underscores its deepening engagement with Southeast Asia and reflects its commitment to the Act East policy.

Prime Minister Modi, earlier in the day, emphasized the pivotal role of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in India’s Act East policy, asserting its significance in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative.

“Our history and geography unite India and ASEAN. Along with it, our shared values, regional integration, and our shared belief in peace, prosperity, and a multipolar world also unite us. ASEAN is the central pillar of India’s Act East Policy. India supports ASEAN’s outlook on ASEAN-India centrality and Indo-Pacific,” PM Modi stated in his address, delivered in Hindi.

India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the ASEAN Region

Before departing for Jakarta, Prime Minister Modi expressed his anticipation for engaging with ASEAN leaders on shaping the future of their partnership, which has now entered its fourth decade.


India’s commitment to strengthening ties with ASEAN nations and opening an embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste, exemplifies its proactive approach to fostering regional cooperation and reinforcing its strategic presence in Southeast Asia.

The opening of India’s embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste, marks a significant milestone in India’s diplomatic efforts to strengthen its ties with the ASEAN region, further solidifying its status as a key player in the Indo-Pacific arena.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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