Monday, 7 March 2011


Jakarta , 4th of March 2011- The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Zacarias Albano da Costa, at the Joint Ministerial Meeting handed the formal candidacy of Timor-Leste to ASEAN to his counterpart H.E. Dr. Marty Natalegawa, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Republic Indonesia, presently chairman of ASEAN.

At the press conference following the event, the Minister Natalegawa expressed his personal satisfaction for having the opportunity to initiate Timor-Leste's formal candidacy to ASEAN's accession, which is will fully supported by the Republic of Indonesia.

The Minister Zacarias da Costa at the occasion said that : “this is a historical moment for Timor-Leste and constitutes a decisive step in our integration in this regional space to which we naturally belong. Asia, more precisely the Southeast Asia, is the most vibrant region in the world”.

The Minister Zacarias da Costa added that: "ASEAN is on its way to a greater economic integration of its member state countries, and Timor-Leste's development will benefit from its membership in this economic Organisation. The increasing of investments will contribute extensively to our strive against poverty and to the improvement of living conditions of our people.”

Saturday, 5 March 2011

President of Indonesia declares maximum support to Timor-Leste to join ASEAN

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste Dr. Zacarias da Costa with
President Susilo Banbang Yodhoyono

"The Republic of Indonesia will make every effort in order to fulfill Timor-Leste's dream: to become a full member of ASEAN during the presidency of Indonesia in this Organisation,"
the President of Indonesia Susilo Babang Yodhoyono declared today 3th of March, in Jakarta during a courtesy visit by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Zacarias Albano da Costa.

The Minister, Zacarias Albano da Costa, has been in Jakarta since the 1st of March leading a large delegation composed of some 40 officials who will take part in the Fifth Joint Ministerial Meeting (JMC) between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

During the meeting, Minister Zacarias personally submitted a letter from H.E. the President of Timor-Leste, Dr. Ramos Horta, reaffirming the wish of Timor-Leste to join ASEAN and thanking the President of Indonesia, on behalf of the Government and the people of Timor-Leste, for the constant support and sponsorship Indonesia is providing through President Yodhoyno and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, as demonstrated on several occasions.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste Dr. Zacarias da Costa with
President Susilo Banbang Yodhoyono

Minister Zacarias da Costa also briefed the President on the progress made in the bilateral relations between both countries, “especially in the implementation of the measures advocated by the Commission of Truth and Friendship and also other progress registered in the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC), such as the goodwill to conclude the process of the land border demarcation during the year of 2011 and to complete the border passes.”

Minister Zacarias da Costa, also transmitted the intention of H.E. Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão to have a bilateral meeting with H.E. the President Susilo Babang Yodhoyono on the 22nd of March as agreed upon last December at the Bali Democracy Forum.

In response, H.E. the President Susilo Babang Yodhoyono declared his satisfaction in receiving Timor-Leste's delegation in Jakarta for the Fifth Joint Ministerial Meeting, which “simbolizes Indonesia's interest in developing a good relationship with Timor-Leste and to develop all necessary contacts to obtain the support from the rest of the Member States of ASEAN for the admission of Timor-Leste into this Organisation.”

From left: Director General Integration, Dr. Marciano Silva,
Ambassador Juvencio Martins,
Ambassador of TL to Indonesia Mr Manuel Serrano and
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Zaccarias Albano da Costa

Minister Zacarias da Costa concluded by conveying a formal invitation to H.E. ThePresident Susilo Babang Yodhoyono to visit Timor-Leste whenever possible.END

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

“Minister Zacarias da Costa meets with General Secretary for ASEAN”

Minister Zacarias da Costa with
Secretary General Surin Pitswan

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, H.E. Zacarias Albano da Costa, paid a courtesy call to H.E. Surin Pitswan, Secretary General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, on Tuesday, the 1st of March, 2011.

During the meeting Minister Zacarias da Costa expressed Timor-Leste's appreciation to the Secretary General of ASEAN for receiving him and his delegation. The delegation included Ambassador Manuel Serrano, Director General for Regional Integration, Dr. Marciano da Silva, Director for ASEAN, Dra. Dirce Carolina Soares, and the Minister's Chief of Staff, Mr. Joao Tavares.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste informed the Secretary General of ASEAN that he will handover Timor-Leste's formal application letter to his counterpart, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Marty Natalegawa, as the current Chair of ASEAN. The meeting between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia will take place in Jakarta on the 4th of March, 2011.

At this meeting the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste said that “Timor-Leste has achieved a lot of progress and continues to make efforts in other areas especially, the economic development of the country.”

Minister da Costa also stated that “Timor-Leste has developed a road map for preparation to ASEAN accession, which soon will be presented to the Council of Ministers for endorsement.”

During the meeting the Minister highlighted the importance of building the capacities of East Timorese, especially those involved in matters related to the ASEAN.

In response the Secretary General, said that “ is very happy that Timor-Leste has taken this important step and that Timor-Leste in one way or another has been mentioned in ASEAN since 1999. Therefore,Timor-Leste is in ASEAN landscape.” The Secretary General also stated that “The best form of Timor-Leste integration is through economic integration specially between private sector.” The SG also express his satisfaction and congratulated Timor-Leste for successfully hosting the Fifth ARF EEPs meeting in Dili between 27 and 28 of January 2011.

Minister Zacarias also stated that the current Ambassador of Timor-Leste to Indonesia will be accredited as the Ambassador of Timor-Leste to ASEAN.

The Secretary General of ASEAN was very pleased with the news and said that he is available to receive Ambassador Serrano.

Before the meeting was finished, the Minister for Foreign Affairs conveyed the regards of the President, Jose Ramos Horta, and the Prime-Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, and took the opportunity to reiterate his invitation to the Secretary General of ASEAN to visit Timor-Leste.

The Secretary General of ASEAN, H.E. Surin Pitswan, said he appreciated the invitation and said that he would be visiting Dili as soon as possible. He also reciprocated his best wishes to the President of the Republic and to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste.