Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is visiting Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia from July 29 to August 7 to reaffirm her country’s commitment to remaining a leading partner to its regional neighbours in Southeast Asia, according to her media release on July 29.
In Dili, she is scheduled to meet the leaders of the new Timor-Leste Government. The two sides plan to discuss deepening cooperation in security, development and economy, opening a new chapter in the Australia-Timor-Leste relationship, and following the signing of a treaty establishing permanent maritime boundaries.
In Malaysia, Bishop looks forward to engaging senior members of the new government and building on the Strategic Partnership announced in 2015, reflecting the two nations' close collaboration and shared strategic perspectives on regional and global affairs. This will be Australia's first ministerial visit to Malaysia since the latter's general election on May 9.
In Singapore, she plans to attend the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and Australia-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. The meetings are an important opportunity to demonstrate Australia’s strong support for ASEAN and its role in promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. The discussions will build on the historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit hosted in Sydney in March 2018.
Visiting Indonesia, the last destination, the Australian official will co-chair with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi the Bali Process Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime. This meeting provides an opportunity to boost practical cooperation between regional partners, civil society and the private sector to end the scourge of human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour.
She will also officially open the Australian Consulate-General in Surabaya. It is Australia’s fourth diplomatic mission in Indonesia and part of the country's priority for deeper engagement with its neighbours, as outlined in the Turnbull Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper released last year. The Consulate in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, will strengthen Australia's trade and investment links with Indonesia