Jakarta (ANTARA) - More and more countries are showing an interest in signing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said here on Tuesday.

The treaty, which was established in 1976, aims to create political stability and security in Southeast Asia by regulating the peaceful resolution of conflicts between countries.

"We discussed countries' accession to TAC, which we hope that the accession will not only be on paper, but really implemented," Marsudi said concerning the plenary session of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) held in Jakarta on Tuesday.

One of those countries is Saudi Arabia, which is scheduled to sign the TAC on the sidelines of the 56th AMM in Jakarta on Wednesday (July 12).

Serbia's application for TAC accession was approved during the plenary session. ASEAN has also appointed its secretariat to review Algeria's application.

According to Marsudi, as this year's ASEAN chair, Indonesia will also make efforts for Panama, Spain, and Mexico's accession to the TAC on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in September.

ASEAN foreign ministers have also expressed support for the cooperation between the ASEAN secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

"This is our effort to expand the spirit of dialogue, collaboration, inclusivity in the context of making the Indo-Pacific a peaceful, stable, and prosperous region," Marsudi said.

The minister informed that during the plenary session, the ASEAN foreign ministers approved South Africa's application to become a sectoral dialogue partner and, in principle, approved Morocco's application as well.

Regarding Timor Leste's membership, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, said that so far, Timor Leste has participated in 160 ASEAN meetings as part of efforts to accelerate the implementation of the nation's membership road map.

He also lauded Indonesia's leadership in initiating the ASEAN Maritime Outlook, which will be released during the ASEAN Maritime Forum in August 2023.

At the plenary session, Marsudi announced Indonesia's plan to initiate ASEAN Concord IV, which will become ASEAN's post-2025 vision. The core elements of the concord will be further discussed and are planned to be adopted during the 43rd ASEAN Summit.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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