Hun Sen Plans to Support Timor-Leste’s Request to Join ASEAN

Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno during her official four-day visit to the country on Jan 28. Photo from SPM Hun Sen's Facebook.

The prime minister intends to allow Timor-Leste’s teams to benefit from Cambodia’s experience to prepare its candidacy, he said

PHNOM PENH--Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Jan. 28 that he intends to put into motion the necessary steps to enable Timor-Leste to join ASEAN in the near future.

"Cambodia will continue to promote the ASEAN economic and socio-cultural pillars, working hard to set up a fact-finding mission for Timor-Leste as soon as possible as a basis for evaluating and preparing a roadmap and clear timeline for Timor-Leste's accession to ASEAN," he said in a message on his Facebook page.

His message followed a meeting on Jan. 28 between Hun Sen and Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno during her official four-day visit to the country.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, they discussed relations between the two countries as well as Timor-Leste joining ASEAN, which Cambodia chairs in 2022.

According to Chapter 3, Article 6 of the ASEAN Charter, a country must meet certain criteria to become a member. This includes a geographical location in Southeast Asia, all requirements being met in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and, in particular, the unanimous approval of ASEAN states.

During their meeting on Jan. 28, the prime minister assured Magno that he had always supported Timor-Leste joining ASEAN, according to the press statement.

Magno also asked Hun Sen to allow Timor-Leste's teams to study how Cambodia proceeded to become a member of ASEAN and also of the World Trade Organization. In his message on his Facebook page on Jan. 28, the prime minister said that he had agreed and that Timor-Leste teams will be welcome in Cambodia.  

He added that he has requested that the relevant ministries and institutions of the two countries meet to develop bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Magno’s four-day visit was due to end Jan. 29.

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