ASIA AND PACIFIC-ASEAN | Timor Leste’s entry into ASEAN could help freedoms, analysts say

President Joko “Jokowi“ Widodo greets Timor Leste’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, who arrived in Jakarta on Feb. 13 for a state visit.(The Jakarta Post/


Timor Leste’s full membership to ASEAN, which is set to be finalized by the end of this year, can help Indonesia advance its diplomatic agenda of peace and democracy.

Amid an “increasingly conservative” Southeast Asia, its membership would grant the relatively more-progressive Indonesia an “ally” in the association, analysts suggest, although Dili would still need Jakarta’s assistance to cushion its limited economic prowess.

Recent weeks have seen Timor Leste begin to hit its diplomatic stride to establish a more solid presence within Southeast Asia’s premier organization, from its historic debut appearance as observer at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) earlier this month to Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak’s talks with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Bogor Palace on Monday.


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