Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta is set to visit the Philippines on Nov. 10 to further strengthen bilateral relations between the Philippines and Timor-Leste, according to the Presidential Communications Office on Sunday. President Ramos-Horta's visit will tackle the various areas of cooperation between the Philippines and Timor-Leste in terms of technical, political, educational and economic partnerships. Philippine agencies that will be present during the visit include the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Justice, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Social Welfare and Development. During a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Indonesia last May, President Marcos assured Timor-Leste of the Philippines' continued support for its move towards becoming a full-fledged member of the regional bloc. 'In the Philippines, you have a partner. We have always been supportive,' President Marcos told Timor-Leste Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak. Timor-Leste joined the 42nd ASEAN Summit as an observer. President Marcos expressed elation over its journey towards becoming a democratic state and eventually becoming an ASEAN member state. 'It is a great honor and privilege to participate, for the first time, in this grand summit of ASEAN leaders,' Ruak said in his speech at the summit. 'Today, finally, thanks to the actions we have taken, I can stand here as Prime Minister of Timor-Leste and say: Timor-Leste will meet all its obligations for full membership in ASEAN.' To be granted full membership, Timor-Leste must fulfill various agreements in the political, security, economic, and socio-cultural aspects.
Source: Philippines News Agency