MANILA, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government is looking forward to welcoming Timor-Leste as the 11th member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a senior government official said Friday.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said that during his bilateral meeting with visiting Timor-Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Luis Guterres, the latter highlighted his country's campaign for ASEAN membership.
"The Philippines looks forward to welcoming Timor-Leste into the ASEAN family," Del Rosario said in a statement.
During the bilateral talks, the two foreign ministers also discussed ways on further enhancing cooperation, particularly in the areas of education, defense, technical cooperation, and possible opportunities for trade and investment, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Guterres also paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacanang, the presidential palace, where they discussed South-South cooperation between the two countries, the department said.
Aquino, through the visiting official, also extended his invitation to Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to visit the Philippines at a mutually convenient date.
ASEAN, which was formed on Aug. 8, 1967, is currently composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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