East Timor granted observer status by Asean; path to full membership open


Asean leaders have agreed in principle to admit East Timor as the 11th member of Asean, according to an Asean press statement released during the bloc’s summit in Phnom Penh on Friday.

The statement said that the admission for East Timor, officially Timor-Leste, will grant the country “observer status” and allow its participation in all Asean Meetings, including the Summit plenaries.

The statement came after their consideration on the outcomes of fact-finding missions to East Timor which were conducted by the Asean Political-Security Community, Asean Economic Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community.

The Asean leaders also agreed to formalize an ‘objective criteria-based’ roadmap for East Timor's full membership, all of which will be based on the milestones identified in the reports of the Fact-Finding Missions conducted by the three Asean Community pillars.

The Asean Coordinating Council is tasked with formulating the roadmap and reporting it to the 42nd Asean Summit for adoption, the statement said.


They also agreed that: “All Asean Member States and external partners shall fully support East Timor to achieve the milestones through the provision of capacity building assistance and any other necessary and relevant support for its full membership in Asean”.

Cambodia has long supported the inclusion of East Timor to the 10-nation bloc.