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EU, UK accede to Treaty of Amity, Cooperation in SE Asia

(Xinhua)

11:04, July 13, 2012

PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) on Thursday acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

The EU's accession agreement to the TAC was signed at Phnom Penh's Peace Palace between Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy and the EU's vice president, and all ASEAN Foreign Ministers led by Cambodian deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, also chair of the ASEAN in 2012.

The UK's accession deal was inked between the UK Ambassador to Cambodia Mark Gooding and all ASEAN Foreign Ministers.

The agreements were signed as the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their counterparts from dialogue countries gathered in Cambodia to attend the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, the Post- Ministerial Conferences, the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum and the 2nd East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers Meeting, which began on Monday and will last until Friday.

The TAC serves as a key instrument in governing inter-state relations and contributing to peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region, Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state of Cambodia's Foreign Ministry, said after the signing ceremony. " With the TAC, there will be no use of force or threats in settling issues between state and state."

"Now, the five powerful countries have become the signatories of the TAC," he said, adding that so far 28 countries have acceded to the Treaty.

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

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