Cambodia, 20 October 2022
President José Ramos-Horta met with President of Senate, Say Chhum, President of National Assembly, Heng Samrin and Prime Minister, Hun Sen to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations between Timor-Leste and Cambodia.
The high level meetings signaled Cambodia’s readiness to support Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen admires and supports Timor-Leste, in part because the history of our countries is similar. He is a strong supporter Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN. This was the focus of the three meetings as well as with other ministerial officials.” Ramos-Horta said.
According to Ramos-Horta the process of joining ASEAN has not been concluded because leaders of ASEAN have not announced the calendar. Timor-Leste hopes to join the organization next year.
“However, it will follow the ASEAN leadership’s road map; they will determine if it is decided and announced. When it is, it will open employment opportunities for Timorese abroad.” he said. It also gives Timor-Leste a role in decision making for strategic options to energize regional commerce.
President Ramos-Horta was also present at the signing of the agreements between the governments of Timor-Leste and Cambodia on developing air connectivity between Timor-Leste and Cambodia, and the exportation of rice to Timor-Leste. The agreements were signed by Timor-Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno.