Ramos Horta: Easier to enter heaven than to join ASEAN

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Jose Ramos-Horta
President of Timor Leste Jose Ramos-Horta. (IO/Dumaz Artadi)

Jakarta, IO – President of Timor Leste Jose Ramos-Horta took a swipe at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He viewed the accession process into the bloc as complicated.

“It’s easier to reach the gate heaven than the gate of ASEAN. It seems that to join ASEAN you must meet all the criteria to enter heaven,” he quipped at an event held by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) in Jakarta, Liputan6 reported on Friday (22/7).

He said that joining ASEAN is more demanding than ex-Soviet states like Romania or Bulgaria joining the European Union (EU).

In front of the diplomatic staff who attended the event, President Ramos-Horta revealed that during the last 10 years his country’s economy has developed rapidly, so it should qualify to join ASEAN.