Indonesian President Joko Widodo (right) greets East Timor's Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 10, 2023. (PHOTO / POOL / AFP)
LABUAN BAJO — A roadmap on Timor-Leste's full membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been adopted at the 42nd ASEAN Summit held in the town of Labuan Bajo in eastern Indonesia.
The two-day summit concluded on Thursday with member countries' pledges to enhance ASEAN centrality and economic integration in efforts to better cope with crises and challenges.
The roadmap for Timor-Leste's full membership came about half a year after ASEAN in last November agreed in principle to admit the country to be its 11th member
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi confirmed after a press conference held after the summit that a roadmap on Timor-Leste's full membership to the regional bloc was adopted at the summit.
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"The roadmap is already adopted. And during the discussion, the commitment of the ASEAN member states was very loud and clear that we are ready to support them to fulfill the criteria of the roadmap," she told Xinhua reporters.
The roadmap for Timor-Leste's full membership came about half a year after ASEAN in last November agreed in principle to admit the country to be its 11th member.
Timor-Leste's Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak attended the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer.
Ruak, at the opening session of the summit held on Wednesday, delivered a speech following the opening address by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, stressing mutual recognition of a strong sense of togetherness in the ASEAN community construction, and reviewing his country's major efforts towards the ASEAN membership.
READ MORE: ASEAN agrees in principle to admit Timor-Leste as 11th member
In his speech, Ruak thanked the support from Indonesia and that from Cambodia's active chairmanship last year, which he said was absolutely critical for his country's admission in principle as the regional bloc's 11th member.