Timor-Leste’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Hernani Coelho da Silva has highlighted the nation's commitment and readiness to become a member of ASEAN.

The minister reiterated that ASEAN remains a key priority in Timor-Leste's foreign policy during a meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN Secretariat headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 17.

Timor-Leste is making intensive preparations to boost its institutional capacity and human capital to participate in ASEAN activities. The enacted measures include the establishment of a general directorate for ASEAN and the appointment of a secretary of state for ASEAN affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

According to the minister, Timor-Leste also aims to complete the opening of embassies in all ASEAN capitals by the first half of 2016. The country is looking forward to ASEAN approval of Timor-Leste's membership application.

For his part, the ASEAN chief praised Timor-Leste’s development efforts, especially in securing political stability, developing a vibrant economy and fostering dynamic external relations.

He appreciated Timor-Leste's strategic decision to become an ASEAN member and its active efforts to consolidate its bid for ASEAN membership.

He affirmed the commitment of the group and ASEAN member states to provide assistance for Timor-Leste, especially in human resource development and institutional building.

The minister unveiled that his country is implementing public administration reforms to ensure more efficient service delivery for its people. Timor-Leste has also been actively extending its bilateral relations and outreach in the region and beyond, based on the principles of human rights, democracy, good governance, justice and the supremacy of international law.

The visit to the ASEAN Secretariat was part of the foreign minister's activities in Jakarta ahead of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference Commemoration in the Indonesian capital city.-VNA