ASEAN leader predicts Timor-Leste's accession by the end of 2023 - Plataforma Media

ASEAN leader predicts Timor-Leste’s accession by the end of 2023

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said today he is “optimistic” that Timor-Leste’s accession will be completed “no later than next year.” According to Cambodian newspaper Khmer Times, Hun Sen added that “Timor-Leste’s accession process is progressing well,” during the opening ceremony of a summit of ASEAN foreign ministers in the capital, Phnom Penh.

On Tuesday, the same newspaper had reported that the Cambodian leader had also sent a letter to Timorese Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak expressing his “unwavering support” for Timor-Leste’s accession.

Timor-Leste is currently an observer member of ASEAN, having applied to join the regional body in 2011. The last ASEAN preliminary assessment mission was in Timor-Leste last month, this time focusing on economic issues, the Timorese President told Lusa on July 18.

Read more on this subject: ASEAN now China’s largest trading partner

José Ramos-Horta was speaking before leaving for a visit to Indonesia, which included a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who assumes the presidency of ASEAN in November. Ramos-Horta had said on April 22 that joining ASEAN is “an absolute priority” for Timor-Leste, which will allow it to make a “great leap in its development.

China, which is not part of the regional bloc, “continues to support Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on June 4 during a visit to Dili.

Also read: East Timor children without basic hygiene conditions in schools, warns UNICEF

On May 25, the Timorese government authorized the parliament to draft a law on business recovery and insolvency, something that will meet the “requirements of integration into ASEAN and the WTO” (World Trade Organization).

Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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