The National Assembly and Senate will support a bid by Timor Leste to become a member of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly once the country gains admission into the regional bloc.
On the last day of his official visit to Cambodia yesterday, Timor-Leste’s Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares paid courtesy calls on National Assembly president Heng Samrin and Senate president Say Chhum and asked them to support his country’s bid to join AIPA.
AIPA is a regional parliamentary organisation. It was originally formed on September 2, 1977 as the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Organisation by the leaders of the parliamentary delegations of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Vietnam became a member in 1995, followed by Laos in 1997, Cambodia in 1999, and Brunei Darussalam in 2009.
A National Assembly statement said that during his meeting with Mr Samrin, Mr Dionisio stressed that Timor Leste’s legislature would benefit greatly by joining the AIPA.
“His Excellency Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares had asked National Assembly president Heng Samrin to support the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste’s candidacy to become a member of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly,” it said.
The statement noted that Mr Dionisio also informed Mr Samrin that his official trip to the Kingdom was aimed to strengthen friendship and expand cooperation between both countries.
“Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares highly values efforts to boost friendship, solidarity and cooperation between Cambodia and Timor-Leste at all levels.” it said. “The Minister also praised the development and peace that Cambodia is achieving.”
In response, Mr Samrin said Cambodia is happy to share with Timor Lester the Kingdom’s experience in development and its integration into Asean.
“Timor-Leste deserves to be a member of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and other legislative groupings in the region and the world,” Mr Samrin was quoted as saying.
After the meeting, Mr Samrin’s cabinet chief Keo Piseth told reporters that Mr Samrin had praised the relationship between Cambodia and Timor Leste as one that would “benefit both nations and their people.”
After his meeting with Mr Samrin, Mr Dionisio held talks with Mr Chhum in his office.
Mr Chhum echoed Mr Samrin’s statement of full support for Timor-Leste to become a member of AIPA, the Senate said in a statement on its official Facebook page yesterday.