SINGAPORE, May 31, 2024

President J. Ramos-Horta engaged in a dialogue with young future leaders from ASEAN nations at the Shangri-La Dialogue forum in Singapore. The dialogue focused on “Timor-Leste’s Democratic Credentials and Approach to Reconciling Past Conflicts, Perspectives on the Myanmar Crisis, and the Future Orientation of ASEAN Leaders while Avoiding Disruption in the Region.”

Representing 40 nations including Timor-Leste, participants listened as President Ramos-Horta spoke about upholding freedom and democracy among ASEAN member states. He highlighted Timor-Leste’s own situation embracing liberty and democratic values.

“Timor-Leste’s hard-won independence was founded on principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We remain steadfastly committed to these values.”

Beyond Timor-Leste’s circumstances, the President addressed the volatile conflict in Myanmar stemming from a failure to prevent democratic backsliding. He emphasized the need for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

Looking towards Timor-Leste’s impending ASEAN membership, Ramos-Horta stated his nation will cooperate with ASEAN to prevent conflicts from arising in the Indo-Pacific region before joining the bloc.

The young future leaders of ASEAN expressed gratitude for Timor-Leste’s moral support for Myanmar, calling for dialogue with the country’s leadership to resolve the democratic crisis.

President Ramos-Horta’s intervention underscored Timor-Leste’s commitment to democratic principles as it prepares to join ASEAN and engage more deeply with the regional grouping.

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