Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN this year, is preparing a roadmap to support the full membership of Timor Leste in the regional association.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo made the announcement in a joint statement issued with Timor Leste Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak at Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province on February 13.
The President said that in principle, Timor Leste has been accepted as a member of ASEAN. A roadmap for full membership is being readied, led by Indonesia as the current chair of ASEAN.
He expressed he was pleased with the acceptance of Timor Leste as a member of ASEAN, in accordance with the results of the ASEAN Summit 2022 in Cambodia.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said she believes that Timor Leste’s ASEAN membership could contribute to improving the stability and prosperity of the region.
Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister of Timor Leste Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno had joined the 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) meeting in Jakarta on February 3, 2023, as an observer.
However, the ACC still needs to discuss the further steps for Timor Leste to obtain ASEAN’s full membership after the country’s initial participation in the meeting.
Prime Minister Ruak’s visit on February 13 was his third official visit to Indonesia. He had earlier visited Indonesia as the President of Timor Leste in 2014 and 2015.
During the visit, four memorandum of understanding (MoUs) in the economy, education, and industry sectors were inked by the two countries.
Source: Lao News Agency