Indonesia backs Timor Leste for membership in ASEAN

Indonesia backs Timor Leste for membership in ASEAN

The plenary session of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday (July 31, 2019). (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Supports for Timor Leste to be an ASEAN member state has been expressed many times by Indonesia. Since the beginning, Indonesia has expressed its support. I also conveyed Indonesia's support for Timor Leste during the plenary session.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia continues to voice its support for Timor Leste as a member of ASEAN, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated during the plenary session of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, July 31. At the plenary session, Foreign Minister Marsudi reiterated Indonesia's support to Timor Leste who has requested an ASEAN membership as soon as possible. The membership request had been submitted in 2011.

"Supports for Timor Leste to be an ASEAN member state has been expressed many times by Indonesia. Since the beginning, Indonesia has expressed its support. I also conveyed Indonesia's support for Timor Leste during the plenary session," said Minister Marsudi at a media briefing Thursday.

Indonesia has voiced its support not only politically, but also concretely through various assistance schemes to prepare and improve the country's capacity before joining ASEAN.

Since moving its proposal for membership in 2011, Timor Leste has fulfilled several prerequisites and adjusted itself to the ASEAN pillars of politics, economics, and socio-culture.

ASEAN member states are currently assessing Timor Leste's readiness to join the organization.

High-ranking officials of ASEAN countries led by Thailand will hold a dialogue with the Timor Leste government in September this year, Indonesian Permanent Representative for ASEAN Ade Padmo Sarwono stated.

"In the dialogue, we want to get more information about the readiness of Timor Leste," he stated.

Besides Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines are among other ASEAN member countries, who have voiced support.

However, there are still some who are hesitant to accept Timor Leste as a member considering the country's capacity and contribution to the future of ASEAN, given its past track record and stability after separating from Indonesia in 2002.

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