ASEAN has agreed in principle to admit Timor Leste as its 11th member.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has accepted Timor Leste as its 11th member in principle here in Phnom Penh, under Cambodia’s chairmanship in 2022.

The half-island nation, officially known as Timor Leste, will also be granted observer status at high-level ASEAN meetings, the bloc announced following a summit of regional leaders in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen (R) shakes hands with visiting Timor-Leste’s President Jose Ramos-Horta in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Oct. 20, 2022. 

“We…agreed in principle to admit Timor Leste as ASEAN’s 11th member,” the statement said, adding that the next steps would include submitting a “roadmap for full membership” at next year’s summit.

The nation of 1.37 million people gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 and officially applied for ASEAN membership in 2011.

Congratulations to the people of Timor Leste!

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