Phnom Penh (FN), Sept. 3 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad agreed that Timor-Leste should become the 11th ASEAN Member States, speaking at the meeting on Tuesday at the Peace Palace Phnom Penh.

“Only country experiencing hardship could understand the difficulty of Timor Leste,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen.

According to Prime Minister, Cambodia has sent officials to study the situation of Timor-Leste.

Dr. Mahathir also supported Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN membership.

“Timor-Leste, which has long applied for ASEAN membership, should definitely become the member of ASEAN. We ensure that Timor-Leste will be a member of ASEAN in the upcoming ASEAN Summit,” said Dr. Mahathir.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original member countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Laos and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.

With overall population of approximately 600 million, ASEAN is now playing an important role in regional and international stage.