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Xanana thanks Jokowi for supporting Timor Leste's ASEAN bid

Jakarta Globe - January 26, 2024

Surya Lesmana, Bogor – Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao expressed gratitude to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo for the strong support extended by Indonesia towards Timor Leste's bid to join ASEAN, during his first-ever visit to the Bogor Palace on Friday.

The tiny country is set to become the 11th member of the regional economic bloc with full support from its giant neighbor.

Friday's meeting also marked Xanana's first trip to Indonesia since he was installed as the prime minister in July.

"I thank President Jokowi for his government's support to our membership in ASEAN," he said in a joint conference after the meeting at the Bogor Palace.

Timor Leste is poised to become the 11th member of the regional economic bloc, receiving full backing from its sizable neighbor, Indonesia.

The process of Timor Leste's inclusion in ASEAN has already seen positive steps, with the Southeast Asian bloc granting the country observer status, enabling its participation in meetings, including summit plenaries. The leaders of ASEAN adopted a roadmap for Timor Leste's full membership during their assembly in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, in May.

He also commented on the upcoming election to elect a successor for Jokowi, expressing confidence that strong ties between the two nations would persist regardless of the outcome of the upcoming Indonesian presidential election.

Jokowi said his meeting with Xanana discussed several key topics, including the establishment of a joint committee on borders and reactivation of border posts between the two countries.

"We also agreed to enhance economic cooperation as the Timor Leste government conveyed the commitment to improving its investment climate through the investment protection agreement," Jokowi said.

Jokowi further appreciated Timor Leste's confidence in Indonesian state-owned enterprises, currently involved in pivotal projects such as road construction in Oecusse and the expansion of Dili Airport.

According to Jokowi, Indonesia and Timor Leste recently signed an agreement on fiber optic investment, but he didn't go into details.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/xanana-thanks-jokowi-for-supporting-timor-lestes-asean-bi