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ASEAN FMs agree on Nuclear-Free Zone

(Xinhua)

15:04, November 16, 2011


BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone ( SEANWFZ) Proposal, according to a statement issued by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

The Five Parties Delegation (P5) from nuclear weapon states, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, also agreed to establish the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, said the statement.

"There has been an agreement. No further negotiations," said Djauhari Oratmangun, Director General for ASEAN Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is also the Chairperson of the ASEAN Senior Officials Forum.

"The approval marks a significant development, as it could be the start towards the signing of the SEANWFZ Treaty by the nuclear weapon states," he added.

Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard, Director for International Security and Disarmament of Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that the agreement must be followed up with various discussions among stakeholders, either within ASEAN or with the nuclear weapon states.

The agreement is non-binding until the leaders of the nuclear nations sign the agreement. "It cannot be deemed settled until all the matters are agreed upon by the nuclear weapon states and all ASEAN members," he said.

However, he affirmed that the consensus among the delegates was a good start to guaranteeing ASEAN security from the harms of nuclear weapons. "An important element is the nuclear weapon states' commitment not to employ their nuclear weapons to threat and attack ASEAN countries," he added.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) was held Tuesday in Bali, Indonesia as part of ASEAN Summit and related Summits to be held on Nov. 17-19.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

 
 
 
 
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