Timor Leste finally received approval in principle to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as its 11th member state in November of last year, more than a decade after first requesting full membership. ASEAN leaders met in Phnom Penh for the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and Related Summits (2022).
Additionally, Timor Leste was given observer status, enabling it to attend all ASEAN meetings, including the summit plenaries.
Geopolitical analysts do not rule out the likelihood that Jakarta could offer full membership to the final Southeast Asian country that was once known as Timor Timur and was its former territory because Indonesia will be taking over the presidency of Asean this year.
According to Gilang Kembara, a researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia would help East Timor adapt to Asean's bureaucratic criteria in the hopes that the country will join the organization at its summit later this year.
Prof. Dr. Azmi Hassan, a Malaysian geostrategist, agreed with Gilang that Timor Leste might be able to join ASEAN fully this year because Indonesian President Joko Widodo is one of the regional leaders who has been amenable to the country's membership.
According to a senior fellow at the Nusantara Strategic Research Academy (NASR), Singapore, which at first opposed Timor Leste's entry into ASEAN out of concern that it might burden the organization, has since changed its position and declared its support for the country's membership in ASEAN on a general basis.
Source: New Straits Times