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Timor-Leste’s Inclusion in ASEAN Membership Could Begin After March 2022

    By Skye Ibarra / March 30, 2022

    ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Application of Timor-Leste for ASEAN Membership
    ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Application of Timor-Leste for ASEAN Membership (

    After a long wait for Timor Leste, the country’s membership in the ASEAN could begin after March 2022. 

    Timor Leste’s ASEAN membership could happen sometime after March 2022, after Prak Sokhon, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister and ASEAN secretary, Dato Lim Jock Hoi decided to end the fact-finding mission of the ASEAN economic and ASEAN socio-cultural community regarding Timor Leste. The meeting between the two parties has paved the way for Timor Leste to get near the membership approval. 

    Back in 2011, after gaining independence from Indonesia, Timor Leste has always expressed their interest in joining the ASEAN. Unfortunately, as they officially filed their membership, it was not welcomed by most of the ASEAN members, resulting in Timor Leste being an ASEAN observer ever since. While participating as an observer, the ASEAN working group observes the country’s political, economic, and cultural situation before concluding the decision for their membership. 

    Regardless of the country’s unwelcomed interest, Cambodia has always given out their support for the country. According to EAC News, last January 20, 2022, Foreign Minister of Timor Leste, Adaljíza Magno asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to assist Timor Leste regarding their ASEAN membership during the broadcasted meeting.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded positively by emphasizing their support for Timor Leste’s ASEAN membership. He also added that in the near future Cambodia will promote the country’s ASEAN economic and cultural heritage and aim to organize the fact-finding mission as soon as possible to give a clear outlook and timeline regarding Timor Leste’s ASEAN inclusion. 

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