13 January 2009

Thailand to support East Timor's membership of Asean

Thailand to support Timor's membership of Asean By Supalak Ganjanakhundee The Nation - Thailand will support Timor-Leste's application for membership of the regional grouping Asean by 2012, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Monday.

As chairman of the group, Thailand also extended an invitation to Timor-Leste to be a guest of the chair during the Asean ministerial meeting and Asean regional forum in the middle of this year.

Prime Minister Abhisit discussed the issue Monday with Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, on an official three day visit from Sunday.

The Timorese president is the first foreign guest to Thailand for Abhisit's government. Thailand established diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste shortly after the latter's independence seven years ago.

Horta praised Thailand for sharing its experience with Asean affairs through many training programs to Timor-Leste over the past three years.

Prime Minister Abhisit and President Horta yesterday presided over a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand's PTT and Timor-Leste's Natural Resource Ministry.

PTT will provide assistance to the republic on technology and management skills to help it set up its own national petroleum company. Timor-Leste has an abundant supply of petroleum resources in the Timor Sea.

Thailand will also provide assistance to Timor-Leste's agricultural sector to help lift living standards and sustain development, Prime Minister Abhisit said.

Image added by ETLJB - ASEAN Logo.

East Timor Women - Raising awareness of the plight of women in Timor-Leste.

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