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Entry of new members, dialogue partners depend on ASEAN itself –ex-envoy

MANILA — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grouping itself may consider its economic and political relationships with potential members or dialogue partners when deciding to expand its membership, according to a former envoy.
This after Turkey and Mongolia have expressed their intention to join the ASEAN grouping even though they are not geographically part of the region.
"Dialogue partners are really institutions which have been established for quite some time… In matters in the economic sphere, economic pillar, it would all depend on ASEAN itself," said former foreign affairs undersecretary for policy and ambassador to the United Nations Lauro Baja Jr.
Baja told reporters ASEAN members need to consider "substantial relations" with prospective dialogue partners.
He cited Sri Lanka with membership application denied because it was outside the geographical confines of Southeast Asia.
While East Timor and Papua New Guinea remained observer status in ASEAN, he added. (PNA)
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Last Modified: 2017-Sep-19 23.31.24 UTC+0800