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Jakarta Post

ASEAN to consider Timor Leste’s admission

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 19, 2019   /  09:37 am
ASEAN to consider Timor Leste’s admission Catching up with the neighbors: The leaders of ASEAN member states, (from left) Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, pose for a group photo at the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore on Nov. 13, 2018. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

Timor Leste may have to wait a little longer for admission into the current 10-nation ASEAN, as the regional organization prepares to send yet another team later this year to assess whether Southeast Asia’s smallest economy is ready for full-fledged membership. ASEAN leaders are expected to meet this week in Thailand for this year’s first ASEAN Summit to discuss various issues in the region. Ahead of the first summit in Bangkok, Indonesia’s lead ASEAN affairs official, Jose Tavares, revealed that the bloc would send a team of senior officials to Timor Leste in September in a bid to assess Dili’s readiness. While reiterating Indonesia’s support, Jose said this “fact-finding mission” would meet with authorities to conduct a series of interviews regarding Dili’s seriousness about becoming a member of ASEAN. “Indonesia really ...