Philippines, East Timor move closer

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Gusmao
East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

The Philippines and the tiny Southeast Asian state of East Timor have signed three agreements on education, infrastructure development and defense following a visit by East Timor’s Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on June 6 in Manila.

The first agreement includes closer cooperation on the education sector by sending East Timor teachers to the Philippines for training. The second, on infrastructure, aims at building the capability of East Timor’s public works personnel in infrastructure planning, quality control and maintenance. The defense agreement was described as a memorandum of understanding “to establish a bilateral mechanism based on the importance of dialogue and the exchange of views of bilateral, regional and international issues.”

Another focus of the meeting was East Timor’s bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a step for which the country reassured the support of the Philippines.

East Timor, a former Portugese colony, has been seeking ASEAN membership since 2007, but the formal application was only submitted to the regional grouping in March 2011. Gusmao is set to visit all of the 10 member-states of ASEAN in 2013 to ask for support. While Indonesia is positive about a ASEAN membership of the country, Singapore and Laos have been objecting the bid so far.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

The Philippines and the tiny Southeast Asian state of East Timor have signed three agreements on education, infrastructure development and defense following a visit by East Timor’s Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on June 6 in Manila.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Gusmao
East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

The Philippines and the tiny Southeast Asian state of East Timor have signed three agreements on education, infrastructure development and defense following a visit by East Timor’s Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on June 6 in Manila.

The first agreement includes closer cooperation on the education sector by sending East Timor teachers to the Philippines for training. The second, on infrastructure, aims at building the capability of East Timor’s public works personnel in infrastructure planning, quality control and maintenance. The defense agreement was described as a memorandum of understanding “to establish a bilateral mechanism based on the importance of dialogue and the exchange of views of bilateral, regional and international issues.”

Another focus of the meeting was East Timor’s bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a step for which the country reassured the support of the Philippines.

East Timor, a former Portugese colony, has been seeking ASEAN membership since 2007, but the formal application was only submitted to the regional grouping in March 2011. Gusmao is set to visit all of the 10 member-states of ASEAN in 2013 to ask for support. While Indonesia is positive about a ASEAN membership of the country, Singapore and Laos have been objecting the bid so far.

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