TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government has expressed its hopes that the ongoing evaluation of Timor Leste will result in its becoming a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"The process (East Timorese membership) has been going on for a long time, since 2011 to the present, and is still ongoing, so we hope that there will be positive movement and activities towards determining this outcome," the Foreign Ministry's Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Jose Tavares, said here on Wednesday
Jose took note of the process that must be undertaken by Timor Leste to become a member of ASEAN.
"At this stage there is a process to send a team to look closely at East Timor's readiness, so that when this issue is discussed at the level of ASEAN heads of state, they can make political decisions to determine whether Timor Leste is eligible to become a member of ASEAN," he said.
The readiness assessment was carried out through independent studies of the conditions of Timor Leste in three main areas: security, socio-culture and economy.
"From this study, in general, positive recommendations were given for East Timor to become a member of ASEAN," he said.
However, Jose also said that the question of membership for Timor Leste would not be discussed this year, and there is still no target time for such a discussion.