Subject: Thailand to support Timor's membership of Asean


Thailand, Timor-Leste sign MoU on energy development

Thailand to support Timor's membership of Asean

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee

The Nation

Thailand will support Timor-Leste's application for membership of the regional grouping Asean by 2012, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Monday.

As chairman of the group, Thailand also extended an invitation to Timor-Leste to be a guest of the chair during the Asean ministerial meeting and Asean regional forum in the middle of this year.

Prime Minister Abhisit discussed the issue Monday with Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, on an official three day visit from Sunday.

The Timorese president is the first foreign guest to Thailand for Abhisit's government. Thailand established diplomatic relations with Timor-Leste shortly after the latter's independence seven years ago.

Horta praised Thailand for sharing its experience with Asean affairs through many training programs to Timor-Leste over the past three years.

Prime Minister Abhisit and President Horta yesterday presided over a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand's<> PTT and Timor-Leste's Natural Resource Ministry.

PTT will provide assistance to the republic on technology and management skills to help it set up its own national petroleum company. Timor-Leste has an abundant supply of petroleum resources in the Timor Sea.

Thailand will also provide assistance to Timor-Leste's agricultural sector to help lift living standards and sustain development, Prime Minister Abhisit said.


Thailand, Timor-Leste sign MoU on energy development

BANGKOK, Jan 12 (TNA) - Pledging that Thailand will continue to assist Timor-Leste in economic activities, the heads of government of the two nations on Monday witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on energy development.

The signing took place at Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was witnessed by visiting Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Under the terms of the agreement, Thailand's oil and gas conglomerate PTT Public Co., Ltd. and Timor-Leste's Ministry of Natural Resources will cooperate on energy development with Thailand also providing budget assistance to Timor-Leste officials to study management and energy technology implementation from PTT, Thailand's largest energy firm.

In an attempt to strengthen relations between the two nations, Mr. Abhisit reportedly told Mr. Ramos-Horta that the Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry is ready to extend the earlier MoU on economy and technical expertise which expired in 2007. Thai officials will visit East Timorean capital of Dili to discuss details and review bilateral cooperation in the near future.

Also, Thailand as current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will support Timor-Leste in becoming a member of the regional group in 2012, Mr. Abhisit reportedly told Mr. Ramos-Horta during a meeting.

The Timor-Leste dignitary arrived in Bangkok on Sunday for a three-day official visit, his first to Thailand. He will have an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Klai Kangwol Palace in Prachuab Khiri Khan province on Tuesday. (TNA)

Political News : Last Update : 16:21:57 12 January 2009 (GMT+7:00)

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