Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Deputy Governor Josef Nae Soi proposed to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to provide a visa-free regime for citizens of Timor Leste visiting Indonesia.

"I have met the head of the ministry's regional office, and I ask the ministry to provide visa-free facility for citizens of Timor Leste seeking to enter Indonesia," Soi noted, as per the statement here, Friday (January 13).

The deputy governor said that the visa-free regime for Timorese nationals visiting Indonesia through NTT would be vital, as it could bolster economic relations between the two countries that shared the Timor Island.

He said that his request was a response to Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta's hope to intensify cooperation with Indonesia in the economic, social, and cultural aspects.

The proposal for a visa-free regime for Timorese nationals would be discussed with the central government, he said.

He added that the provincial authority also supported the central government's plan to revitalize four immigration posts close to the Timor Leste and Australian borders.

"I and the governor, representing the East Nusa Tenggara provincial authority, fully support these good steps," Noi stated.

He affirmed that the provincial authority will intensively engage in communications with the central government, especially the Law and Human Rights Ministry, to ensure prompt realization of the plans.

The deputy governor also expressed gratitude to officials of the ministry's regional office in East Nusa Tenggara for taking various approaches in immigration services in the region.

Earlier, on Wednesday (January 11), Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met her Timor Leste counterpart, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, in Jakarta to discuss efforts to enhance economic cooperation and settle land boundaries between the two countries.

During the meeting, they agreed to begin discussions on a joint free-trade zone agreement for the border industrial area between Oecusse District, Timor Leste, and East Nusa Tenggara Province.

The two foreign ministers also discussed the importance of accelerating the completion of agreements related to investment and communication and information, as well as the urgency to settle discussions on two segments -- Bidjael Sunan-Oben and Noel Besi-Citrana -- of the Indonesia-Timor Leste land border.

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Translator: Kornelis Kaha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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