Subject: KY: ET in Asia's top security forum

Asia's top security forum grants East Timor membership - Kyodo

May 20, 2005 10:34am Asia Intelligence Wire

Text of report in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo

Vientiane, 20 May: Asia's top international security forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum, decided Friday [20 May] to grant a membership to East Timor.

East Timor Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta will be invited to join the ARF scheduled for July in the Lao capital, according to Bounkeut Sangsomsak, Lao deputy minister of foreign affairs, who chaired a one-day senior officials' meeting to prepare for the July ministerial talks.

Founded in 1994 on the initiative of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the forum annually gathers foreign ministers from ASEAN countries and their counterparts from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and Russia.

East Timor will be ARF's 25th member.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 1203 gmt 20 May 05

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