JAKARTA, Feb 3 — Asean foreign ministers today welcomed Timor Leste’s participation as an observer for the first time at the 32nd Asean Coordinating Council (ACC) meeting.
Symbolically, Timor Leste’s Foreign Minister Adaljiza Magno was introduced and called into the hall at the Asean Secretariat building to participate in the meeting.
“Timor Leste is one of our potential members,” said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir to Malaysian media after the ACC meeting here.
He said Timor Leste can now attend a series of Asean-level meetings as an observer until an official decision by consensus is made to accept the country as a member of Asean.
This is in line with the decision of member countries reached during the 40th Asean Summit in Cambodia last November.
During the meeting, Zambry said Indonesia as Asean 2023 Chairman presented its priorities and agenda with the theme “Asean Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”.
He said Indonesia wants to make Asean a centre of growth for the region and the world, and emphasise the ‘blue economy’ to produce sustainable use of marine resources for economic growth.
The Myanmar issue was also discussed, he said, adding that Asean adheres to the Five Point Consensus (5PC) to help resolve the issue in Myanmar.
“All member countries have agreed to deal with the matter jointly,” he said.
The meeting, chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, took place without the presence of representatives from Myanmar even though ‘non-political’ representatives had been invited to participate.