Timor-Leste Expects to Join ASEAN by Next Year

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen said Timor-Leste may join the ASEAN’s family by next year.

“Timor-Leste’s accession process is advancing well and I am optimistic that by next year we could welcome this country to the ASEAN family,” said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, also the Chair of ASEAN 2022, in his opening remarks of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings in Phnom Penh this morning.

Regarding the Timor-Leste’s application for ASEAN membership, visiting H.E. Dr. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste told AKP in an exclusive interview yesterday afternoon that Timor-Leste is looking forward for the result of the fact-finding missions.

“So now, I can say we are waiting for the ASEAN’s comprehensive report based on the fact-finding missions,” she said.

H.E. Dr. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno said politically, Timor-Leste is ready at any time, but the country wants to respect the procedures applied by the ASEAN Secretariat.

“I hope that the ASEAN comprehensive report will be released soon positively,” she underlined.

As Cambodia always pays high attention to Timor-Leste’s request for accession to ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the support.

“We are really appreciating the support by Prime Minister Hun Sen as he always paid his special attention to our ASEAN membership,” she said.

The Timor-Leste foreign minister also recalled her working visit to Cambodia after the Kingdom took over the ASEAN chairmanship from Brunei in January, during which she met with her Cambodian counterpart and paid a courtesy call on Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

H.E. Dr. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno said the bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and Timor-Leste will be further expanded in different sectors.

Timor-Leste had submitted an application to join ASEAN in 2011 when Indonesia was the chair for ASEAN and since then, it had made multiple efforts to become a member of the bloc.

Until now, the fact-finding mission (FFM) to Timor-Leste by all three pillars of ASEAN has completed. The ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) FFM was conducted on Sept. 3-6, 2019; the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) FFM on July 6-8, 2022; and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) FFM on July 19-21, 2022.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press