Australia–East Timor relations
Australia and East Timor are near neighbors with close political and trade ties. East Timor, one of the poorest countries in Asia, lies about 610 kilometres northwest of the Australian city of Darwin and Australia has played a prominent role in the young republic's history. Australia has an embassy in Dili. East Timor has an embassy in Canberra and a consulate general in Sydney.
Australia led the military force that helped stabilize the country after it gained independence from Indonesia in 1999 and has been a major source of aid since. In recent years, relations between both countries have deteriorated as a result of the Australia-East Timor spying scandal.
Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam told Indonesia that his government would not oppose an annexation of East Timor in 1975, a decision that quickly proved controversial at home. In October 1975, Indonesian troops poured across East Timor's border with Indonesian West Timor at the town of Balibo. Among those killed by the advancing Indonesian troops were five Australia-based journalists, who came to be known as the Balibo Five. Many in Australia and elsewhere were convinced that the murder of the unarmed reporters was intentional. The incident placed East Timor at the top of Australia's international diplomacy agenda and Australia's involvement with East Timor has deepened since independence, especially after the internal conflict in 2006 and the sending of Australian peacekeepers.
The Australian Defence Force have been stationed in East Timor almost continuously since they first arrived to quell the rioting, disorder and low-level fighting created by the Indonesian military's scorched earth campaign as it withdrew from its former possession in 1999. In addition to being in charge of all military and police operations in East Timor after Indonesia's 1999 withdrawal, Australia landed troops in the country in 2006 to quell ethnic fighting that involved East Timorese police and soldiers. In early 2009, Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said his country was willing to keep troops stationed in East Timor for as long as Dili wants them.
Trade and investment
Large oil and gas reserves lie in the sea between the two countries in an area known as the Timor Gap. Territorial disputes over control of this resource, which some geologists estimate could pump over $10 billion of oil and gas, have colored diplomacy over East Timor, both when it was an Indonesian possession and since. Australia broke with many of its allies and recognized Indonesia's annexation of East Timor in 1976 in what was widely seen by analysts at the time as a quid pro quo for a treaty favorable to Australia involving oil and gas exploration in the area. Since East Timor's independence, disputes over how much of a split Dili would receive when the resource is finally developed have been an occasional strain on otherwise close relations.
In the aftermath of the Australia-East Timor spying scandal in 2013, East Timor launched a case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to pull out of a gas treaty that it had signed with Australia as it accuses the latter of having its intelligence agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), bugged the East Timorese cabinet room in Dili in 2004.
In the decade that ends in 2010, Australia is scheduled to have provided around A$760 million in direct aid to East Timor. In 2010, East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta said that 10 years of foreign aid including from Australia had "had no impact on transforming the lives of the people" 
In 2012/13, the estimated annual aid budget from Australia to East Timor is A$120 million. 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Relations of Australia and East Timor.|
- Whitlam reveals his East Timor policy | Australian Broadcasting Service, 6 December 1999
- International Press Institute's appeal for UN investigation of reporters killed in East Timor
- The Jakarta Post | Balibo killings: Beginnings of impunity? | Ati Nurbati, 9 February 2001
- Scorched Earth, Far Eastern Economic Review, John McBeth and Dan Murphy, 16 September 1999, pp. 10–14
- Australian forces intervene to halt fighting in East Timor | New York Times, Jane Perlez, 26 May 2006
- Australia troops in East Timor 'as long as necessary,' Radio Australia, Corinne Podger
- Australia casts a shadow over East Timor's future, The Independent, Kathy Marks, 3 June 2004
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (5 December 2013). "East Timor spying case: PM Xanana Gusmao calls for Australia to explain itself over ASIO raids". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.