Timor Leste has taken one step closer to become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on April 27.

According to the minister, at the 22nd ASEAN Summit in Brunei’s Bandar Seri Begawan, ASEAN leaders agreed to Timor Leste’s participation in the association’s next summit this October, at the proposal of Indonesian President Susilo Banbang Yudhoyono.

The approval of Timor Leste’s bid to play a greater role in ASEAN was included in the summit Chairman’s statement.

ASEAN leaders spoke highly of the progress in discussions by the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) and the ACC Working Group (ACCWG) on all relevant aspects related to the application by Timor Leste as well as its possible implication on ASEAN. They agreed to explore the possibility of Timor Leste’s participation in ASEAN activities to help the country boost its capacity building, the statement read.-VNA