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ASEAN welcomes French willingness to accede to amity treaty.

TAMPAKSIRING, Indonesia, April 20 Kyodo

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Thursday welcomed France's willingness to accede to ASEAN's nonaggression pact known as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

''We welcome France to sign the TAC with hope that the European Union would be also interested in it,'' Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon told reporters after the two-day ministerial retreat in Bali.

The treaty, adopted by ASEAN in 1976 and since amended to allow countries outside the region to join, commits signatories to noninterference in the internal affairs of one another, renunciation of the threat or use of force, and settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

France would become the first European nation to accede to the treaty, which has already been joined by China, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar revealed that France had written to ASEAN indicating its willingness to sign the amity treaty.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Apr 24, 2006
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