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Interview

East Timor's president-elect says ASEAN membership a top priority

Ramos-Horta won Tuesday's presidential election with 62% of the vote

Jose Ramos-Horta declares victory in East Timor's presidential election in Dili on April 21.   © Reuters

DILI/COPENHAGEN -- Following a decisive victory in East Timor's presidential election, Jose Ramos-Horta has signaled determination to make good on ambitious plans to rescue the country's ailing economy and restore political stability.

In an interview after voting on Tuesday, Ramos-Horta said he aspires to strengthen key bilateral relationships with neighboring countries, become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and tackle East Timor's political and economic problems, including child malnutrition and poverty.

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