JAKARTA: Malaysia will host the Asean-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in September or October this year, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

“The GCC proposes to Asean for Malaysia to host; the date is still under discussion,“ he told the Malaysian media after the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) meeting,here, today.

He said Malaysia, which has been given the mandate by Asean to be the Asean-GCC and Asean-Canada Secretariat, will create cooperation between the region and both parties through dialogue.

Asean and the GCC have established official relations since 1990, while Asean-Canada relations were established in February 1977.

Zambry, who led the Malaysian delegation to the 32nd Asean Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting and AMM Retreat at the Asean Secretariat, also held side meetings with his Vietnamese counterpart, Bui Thanh Son, and Timor Leste, Adaljiza Magno, to strengthen bilateral relations.

“Malaysia supports the inclusion of Timor Leste as the 11th Asean country,“ he said.

Asean Foreign Ministers yesterday welcomed the participation of Timor Leste as an observer for the first time at a meeting chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

“Malaysia is one of the country that is very consistent since we submitted our application to be the full member of Asean,” Magno told reporters after the meeting with Zambry.

She said Timor Leste’s participation in the ACC and AMM Retreat as an observer is a stepping stone to becoming the full member.

The country is now trying to fulfill the requirements based on the guidelines approved by Asean member states and also to prepare roadmap to be a full member in the future.

“Timor Leste has very strong bilateral cooperation with Malaysia,” Magno said, adding that Malaysia had helped rebuild the country since independence, especially in capacity building and training its diplomats. - Bernama

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