France to sign Southeast Asian peace treaty

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18, 2006 (AFP) - France is set to become the first European nation to join a Southeast Asian peace treaty, with the 10-nation ASEAN expected to approve its application this week, Malaysia said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said France had written to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) indicating its willingness to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. He said he expected the region's foreign ministers to give the green light during their meeting Thurs

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18, 2006 (AFP) - France is set to become the first European nation to join a Southeast Asian peace treaty, with the 10-nation ASEAN expected to approve its application this week, Malaysia said Tuesday.
  
Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said France had written to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) indicating its willingness to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
  
He said he expected the region's foreign ministers to give the green light during their meeting Thursday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
  
"I think we will be approving it. There is no objection to them signing the treaty," he told reporters, adding that no date had been fixed for France to sign the treaty.
  
Signing of the treaty is a condition for entry into the East Asia Summit, a 16-nation grouping seen as a possible precursor to a European-style East Asian Community. The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur last December.
  
The non-aggression pact commits signatory states to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member countries and bans violence as a means to settle regional disputes.
  
If ASEAN accepts France, it will become the first European nation to join Australia, India, China, Japan and New Zealand who have signed the treaty along with the ASEAN members.
  
France's budget minister Jean-François Copé said last month that Europe must step up its cooperation with Southeast Asia to face the economic challenge from a rising China and India.
  
During a visit to Singapore, he called the development of the two emerging giants "an opportunity and a challenge" for both the 10-member ASEAN and for Europe.
  
President Jacques Chirac made his first visit to Thailand in February, with
Thai officials saying France views it as a "bridge" to build closer economic and democratic links in the region.
  
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
 
Copyright: AFP

Subject: French news

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