East Timor is a country in Southeast Asia, forming the eastern half of the island of Timor. It is bordered by the Wetar Strait to the north and the Timor Sea to the south. The western half of the island belongs to the Republic of Indonesia and is part of East Nusa Tengarra province. East Timor was a Portuguese colony from the early 16th century until 1975 and was claimed as a province of Indonesia from 1976 to 1999. In August 1999 the East Timorese population voted to become an independent nation, and the territory was subsequently placed under the administration of the United Nations as it transitioned to complete independence. It became an independent country in May 2002. The national capital is Dili, a small port city located on the northern coast.
Map: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
A fisherman on beach in Dili, East Timor (photo Jackmalipan).
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