Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, June 20, 2024. President J. Ramos-Horta met with Vice Minister for ASEAN Affairs, Milena Maria da Costa Rangel, to review Timor-Leste’s progress towards ASEAN membership. The discussion highlighted positive developments from a recent ASEAN coordination meeting, which demonstrated the country’s steady advancements in meeting the membership criteria.

President Ramos-Horta appreciated the government’s efforts and encouraged continued hard work and collaboration among relevant ministers to fulfill all necessary requirements by 2025. He stressed the importance of achieving full ASEAN membership to improve regional cooperation and integration.

Vice Minister Rangel noted significant achievements in the membership bid, such as establishing diplomatic relations with ASEAN countries and meeting various administrative requirements. She emphasized that infrastructure development is vital not only for joining ASEAN but also for the country’s broader development.

The meeting reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ASEAN membership, with a focus on comprehensive development, strengthening diplomatic ties, and meeting infrastructure and administrative criteria. Timor-Leste aims to become the 11th member of ASEAN, reflecting its dedication to regional integration and growth.

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