Tempo.Co, Suci Sekarwati, Jakarta – The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient Manuel Ramos-Horta said in a discussion held by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) on Thursday, March 17, 2022, that Timor Leste is hoping to join ASEAN. Jose acknowledges that the process would take some time.
Jose recalled the meeting with the 1990-2004 Prime Minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong and PM Lee Hsien Loong to express Timor Leste's intentions to join with ASEAN.
"We are aware that there are other countries wanting to join ASEAN apart from Timor Leste, such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea. But they have not been accepted by ASEAN as they are currently members of other organizations," he recalled. "Timor Leste is not part of any organization."
He believed that the country has the right to join the Southeast Asian political and economic union and is positive that the welfare of Timor Leste's population can be elevated by joining ASEAN. Jose claims to have obtained support from Cambodia and Malaysia.
"We are basically waiting for ASEAN's answer," he added.