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Jakarta Post

Timor Leste one step closer to ASEAN membership

  • Bagus BT Saragih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, April 27, 2013   /  10:13 am

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had fulfilled his commitment to promote Timor Leste'€™s ASEAN membership during the 22nd summit in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei Darussalam, a minister says.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Friday that the ten member states had agreed to Timor Leste'€™s participation in its next meetings thanks to lobbing by Indonesia.

'€œWe are still waiting for a formal decision,'€ Marty said at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport after arriving from Bandar Seri Begawan.

Marty was part of a delegation accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his five-day ASEAN tour, which also included state visits to Singapore and Myanmar.

The approval of Timor Leste'€™s bid to have a greater role in ASEAN was also included in the summit Chairman's Statement.

'€œWe were encouraged by the progress in discussions by the ASEAN Coordinating Council [ACC] and the ACC Working Group [ACCWG], on all relevant aspects related to the application by Timor Leste, as well as its possible implication on ASEAN, and agreed to explore the possibility of Timor Leste'€™s participation in ASEAN activities within the context of its need for capacity building,'€ the statement read. (ebf)

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