Jose Ramos-Horta was on Sunday sworn in as Timor-Leste's second president since the country got independence five years ago, vowing to bring peace and prosperity to the people of the desperately poor nation.
Ramos-Horta, who won the May 9 presidential election for the future five-year term, took the oath of office before Francisco " Lu-Olo" Guterres, the head of parliament.
"I will consolidate freedom and national unity with all the energy I have," Ramos-Horta said at the ceremony.
"I would not do justice without expressing, on behalf of our state, our sincere gratitude for the contribution the international community as a whole has given towards making our process of nation-building successful one," he added.
"The United Nations in particular has systematically been involved in safeguarding the necessary conditions for people of Timor-Leste to ensure our state grows and develops to its maximum potential," he stressed.
He said, a small and vulnerable country need a dynamic, creative and pragmatic foreign policy, inspired by its national interests, namely those related to its internal and external security, peace and stability, and the economic well-being of the people.
In this context, he said, Timor-Leste's relations with its closest neighbors, Indonesia , Australia and New Zealand and the ASEAN countries, with Portugal, the European Union and the entire international community, will always be nurtured with extreme care and commitment.
"We must also work together to enhance our relations with the United State, the People's Republic of China, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korean and India," he said.
Horta, 57, who is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, became the country's prime minister last year. His predecessor Xanana Gusmao is preparing for participating in the June parliamentary election, in which a new prime minister will be elected.