"There will be a revision of air agreement to open international flights in the near future," he stated at a meeting with the governor of East Nusa Tenggara province, Frans Lebu Raya.
He admitted that he had a special mission of discussing international flight between Dili (the capital of Timor Leste) and Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara that borders Timor Leste, in his current visit to the province with the local government officials.
East Nusa Tenggara and Timor Leste have very close ties and share common interests. They are highly dependent on each other, such as in the transportation sector and economy, in general.
In view of that, he noted that the meeting with Raya was very important with regard to building bilateral relations between the two countries and immediate realization of direct flights between the two regions that could support the cooperation.
He noted that besides developing bilateral relations, trilateral cooperation between Indonesia, Timor Leste, and Australia must also be carried out more concretely in all sectors, including licensing.
In the context of the wider cooperation, Sitorus remarked that he hoped for the continuous role of the local government in maintaining smooth cross-border human traffic.
"People need to be always reminded that under international law, they need passports to cross borders," he added.
He explained that this was important to minimize possible immigration problems that could disrupt the good relations between the two countries.
"We need to safeguard the wider future interest of the two countries of advancing together. We support economic empowerment of people in the border in line with the "Nawacita" program of President Joko Widodo. In essence, we will also support all the programs of Raya," he revealed.
Raya asserted that the trilateral cooperation had so far gone well, although concretely it needed to be further deepened by implementing the cooperation that had been agreed upon in certain sectors.
Regarding licensing, he noted that it was important to encourage businessmen to invest in transportation as well as other sectors.
"East Nusa Tenggara has a lot of potentials that could attract investors. Tourism as well as fisheries and maritime sectors are among those that are promising for investment," he concluded. ***2***
(Reported by Aloysius Lewokeda/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/B003)