Timor-Leste has launched the “ASEAN National Secretariat” in Dili, in preparation for its ascension to the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc, said a press release made available by the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat.
President Dr Jose Ramos-Horta presided over the launch ceremony on Thursday at the newly-built Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dili.
President Ramos-Horta stressed that Timor-Leste would continue to do its best to develop its human resources and show its seriousness and responsibility towards regional cooperation and diplomacy. He also urged ASEAN Dialogue Partners to continue with their assistance in training Timor-Leste officials.
According to the press release, "President Ramos-Horta said that he had received reassurances of support for Timor-Leste's eventual admission into ASEAN during his recent state visits to Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia".
The "Secretariat", which includes an IT training centre, was built with financial assistance from South Korea, one of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was built with financial assistance from China, another Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.
Timor-Leste is developing diplomatic ties with all 10 ASEAN member states and has opened its embassies in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur (also handling ties with Myanmar and Vietnam), Manila and Bangkok (also handling ties with Cambodia and Laos).
The Jakarta Post, Timor Leste Launches ASEAN Secretariat, 8 Feb 2009, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/02/04/timor-leste-launches-asean...
Bernama, Timor Leste Preparing for ASEAN Membership, 2 Feb 2009, http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=387218