Labuan Bajo, NTT (ANTARA) - Three countries have applied to become the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN's) partner and sign a treaty, ASEAN Cooperation Director at the Foreign Affairs Ministry Sidharto Suryodipuro stated during a press briefing here, Monday (May 8).

The three countries that are ready to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) are Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Spain, he noted.

“Indonesia, as the chair of ASEAN, is coordinating the three countries’ readiness to sign the treaty this year," he said.

Suryodipuro said that several other countries had expressed their intent to accede to the treaty.

However, high-ranking officials at the ASEAN are currently discussing the readiness of Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Spain to sign the treaty, and they are expected to be able to complete the accession this year.

TAC is a treaty intended to create political and security stability in Southeast Asia, and it stipulates a peaceful conflict resolution mechanism.

The TAC was signed in 1976 by the heads of ASEAN's founding countries. The TAC was amended in 1987 to open accession to countries outside of the region.

ASEAN had currently established several forms of external cooperation, both with dialogue country partners as well as other regional and international organizations.

ASEAN's dialogue partners are countries as well as regional and international organizations that became ASEAN's cooperation partners in various fields.

Dialogue partners are expected to be able to support the formation of the ASEAN Community, especially since the focus of Indonesia's chairmanship for this year's ASEAN includes matters related to the post-2025 ASEAN Vision toward 2045 ASEAN.

Indonesia raised the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth" for this year's chairmanship.

Under Indonesia's chairmanship, various meetings, including the ASEAN Summit, are expected to produce several documents, such as the Chair Statement, post-2025 ASEAN Vision, ASEAN capacity strengthening, and Timor-Leste's full membership.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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