The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste on Tuesday thanked ASEAN member countries for the support of Timor-Leste’s accession process, and praised the organization’s role in consolidating stability, unity and peace in the region.
As a democratic country in Southeast Asia, Timor-Leste’s membership in ASEAN is a high priority on our foreign policy agenda. We want to be part of the ASEAN community, a community connected by trust, friendship and cooperation”, said Xanana Gusmão, in the plenary session marking the start of the 43rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in Jakarta.
“For more than half a century, ASEAN has promoted stability, unity and peace in our region. ASEAN has shown the world the power of dialogue and what can be achieved when countries unite with the same peaceful goal,” he stressed.
Xanana Gusmão was grateful for the decision to welcome Timor-Leste as the 11th member of ASEAN, bearing in mind the important role of this organization in terms of strengthening the economy.
Thanks to ASEAN, Southeast Asia is now a dynamic economic power and looks to the future with confidence. I would like to thank all ASEAN member countries for their support for Timor-Leste’s ambition to join ASEAN,” he said.
The Chief Executive of East Timor reaffirmed Timor Leste’s commitment to “the principles that underpin ASEAN”, supporting “ASEAN’s central role in promoting peace, security and stability in the region” and in strengthening regional resilience in responding to common and emerging challenges. “My government is committed to working with ASEAN to implement an objective and criteria-based roadmap towards our full membership. We understand the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.
Timor-Leste said they did not want to become a “headache” for the association of Asian nations
Xanana Gusmão was in Jakarta accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Francisco Kalbuadi, Minister and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Bendito de Freitas and Milena Rangel respectively, and Minister for Home Affairs Francisco Guterres.
Gusmão spoke on Monday at the summit’s business forum and will participate this Tuesday at the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Forum, with several bilateral meetings planned throughout the week. This Tuesday there will be bilateral meetings between the Timorese leader and his Bruneian counterparts, Hassanal Bolkiah and from Vietnam, Pham Minh Chính.
On Wednesday, several ASEAN meetings are planned with China, South Korea, Japan, the United States and Canada, with Xanana Gusmão meeting bilaterally with his counterparts from Laos, Sonexay Siphadon, from Australia, Anthony Albanese, from Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong and from Cambodia, Hun Manet.
Thursday’s agenda includes the ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Australia, and ASEAN-UN Summits, as well as the 18th Southeast Asia Summit. On that day, Xanana Gusmão is scheduled to meet with the Head of Diplomacy of New Zealand, Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida and Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim as well as UN Secretary General, António Guterres.
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