Jakarta (ANTARA) - Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR), Puan Maharani, and Chair of the National Parliament of Timor-Leste, Maria Fernanda Lay, discussed Timor-Leste's ASEAN membership during a bilateral meeting on Tuesday.

At the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 44th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly in Jakarta, Maharani expressed hopes that Timor-Leste would meet the criteria for full membership ahead of the ASEAN Summit in September 2023.

Indonesia has continued to encourage ASEAN countries to support Timor-Leste's full membership of the organization, she emphasized.

She said that she is looking forward to more intensive cooperation once Timor-Leste becomes an official ASEAN member.

She also highlighted the importance of Indonesia and Timor-Leste realizing the Bilateral Investment Treaty, following the increase in cooperation in various fields such as the economy, trade, and investment.

Maharani said that the implementation of the treaty would create a more favorable investment climate, encouraging more investment from Indonesia to Timor-Leste.

She also expressed hope that the parliaments of the two countries would encourage their respective governments to immediately hold discussions on the Indonesia-Timor-Leste border negotiation.

It is hoped that cooperation in the development of the Border Economic Zone, which will benefit the two countries, could be improved if the border issue is resolved, she said.

She also called for the opening of cooperation opportunities with the parliament of Timor-Leste through inter-parliamentary visits or other forums, as part of the diplomatic role of parliament.

On the same occasion, deputy head of Commission IX of the DPR, Charles Honoris, said that the Timor-Leste delegation sought the DPR's support regarding the country's ASEAN membership.

He informed that Timor-Leste currently has become the 11th member of ASEAN, but its membership is not yet full, so the country still cannot vote in ASEAN forums, including in AIPA, in which it only plays the role of an observer country.

Therefore, it is hoped that Timor-Leste will officially be declared as a full member at the upcoming ASEAN Summit, allowing its parliament to participate in AIPA, he added.

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Translator: Melalusa Susthira, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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