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ETimor minister seeks Manila's support for ASEAN Regional Forum bid  

ETimor minister seeks Manila's support for ASEAN Regional Forum bid

DILI, Sept 13, 2004 (AFP) - East Timor's Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta will seek support for his impoverished country's bid to join a major regional security forum during a forthcoming trip to Manila, his office said Monday. Ramos-Horta is due to begin a two-day official visit to the Philippines on Tuesday, where talks will focus on the possibility of Dili becoming a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum. He will then fly on to New York where he will attend the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly. "The objective of the visit is to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and to exchange views on common interests regarding regional and international issues," Ramos-Horta said before leaving Dili. "Timor Leste will also use the visit to seek the Philippines support for Timor Lestes bid to join the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)," he added. ARF links the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with 13 other Asia-Pacific states and the European Union. Membership of the group would be a major boost to East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, as the former Indonesian province struggles for stability two years after achieving full independence. In New York, besides addressing the UN General Assembly, Ramos-Horta will attend a high-level meeting of world leaders to discuss additional finances for the eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide. The minister will also travel to South Korea before returning home on October 4. str/bs/bjn/sm  

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004
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