The Indonesian government has put its weight behind Timor Leste in its bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a senior official has said.

“Indonesia continues to support Timor Leste’s membership to ASEAN. We also encourage other ASEAN member states to invite the country to participate in capacity-building efforts that would culminate in its ASEAN membership,” Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir said in a statement to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The statement follows a courtesy call from Fachir’s Timorese counterpart, Deputy Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Roberto Sarmento de Olivieira Soares, at the foreign ministry premises on Thursday.

On behalf of his government, Soares conveyed his utmost appreciation to the Indonesian government for its consistent support in various cooperation initiatives whether political, sociocultural or economic.

“Timor-Leste and Indonesia’s relations are currently at an extraordinary level,” Soares said.

During the meeting with the Timor official, deputy minister Fachir raised a number of issues on which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has placed great importance, such as increasing economic activities and investments, as well as the swift and measured resolution of their outstanding land and maritime borders.

To this end, Fachir suggested that he and his counterpart work closer together in order to expedite the realization of previous commitments between the two countries’ leaders earlier this year in Dili. The officials also discussed other avenues of cooperation, including the trilateral framework between Indonesia, Timor Leste and Australia, as well as plans to feature Timorese businesses in the Indonesian Trade Expo this October. 3 September 2016