A road map for full membership is being readied, led by Indonesia as the current chair of ASEAN.Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN this year, is preparing a road map to support the full membership of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste in the regional association.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) made the announcement in a joint statement issued with Timor Leste Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak at Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, on Monday.
"In principle, Timor Leste has been accepted as a member of ASEAN. A road map for full membership is being readied, led by Indonesia as the current chair of ASEAN," Widodo informed.
He said that 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.
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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 full membership of the ASEAN after the country’s initial participation in the meeting.
Magno had described joining the ASEAN as a very important moment in Timor Leste’s history.
Timor Leste supports ASEAN as a center for growth, in accordance with the theme of Indonesia's 2023 ASEAN chairmanship, she added.
In addition, she said that the membership is important because her party realizes that no country is free from the problems and dynamics that occur at the regional level.
Prime Minister Ruak's visit on Monday was his third official visit to Indonesia. He had earlier visited Indonesia as the president of Timor Leste in 2014 and 2015.
During the latest bilateral meeting, four memorandum of understanding (MoUs) in the economy, education, and industry sectors were inked by the two countries.
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Translator: Mentari Gayati, Uyu Liman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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