Jakarta (ANTARA) - The ASEAN urged the UK to approve the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty in order to keep the region away from nuclear weapons.

At the ASEAN Foreign Post-Ministerial Conference (PMC) with UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, on Thursday (July 13), Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific that has lasted for over half a century.

"The inclusive regional architecture is built on collaboration and international laws and principles, including the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the Bali Principles. I hope the UK can uphold those principles too," Marsudi remarked.

The ASEAN PMC with the UK on Thursday, part of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting (AMM) during the 2023 Indonesian Chairmanship, reaffirmed ASEAN and the UK’s commitment to enhance their relations and effectively implement the ASEAN-UK Plan of Action for 2022-2026.

The meeting also exchanged views on regional and international issues.

ASEAN's step to accept the UK as the bloc's Dialogue Partner two years ago shows its commitment to partnering with all countries, she emphasized.

"However, these partners must share the same view with ASEAN in contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region," she remarked.

Related news: Indonesia urges Russia to approve SEANWFZ Treaty

The SEANWFZ Treaty, signed in 1995 by all ASEAN countries, stipulates that its signatories cannot "develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess, or have control over nuclear weapons," "station or transport nuclear weapons by any means," or "test or use nuclear weapons."

The SEANWFZ Treaty is also open to be signed by the five nuclear-weapon states: China, Russia, the US, the UK, and France.

However, 28 years after the SEANWFZ Treaty signing, only China has expressed readiness to sign the protocol, although until now, there have been no follow-ups on it.

Other countries expressed their objection to some parts of the SEANWFZ Treaty.

Marsudi stated that the ASEAN will review the treaty again, so all nuclear-weapon states want to sign and adopt the SEANWFZ Protocol.

"We will deploy our negotiators to examine the (treaty body) again because there are some objections to some of the sentences," Marsudi stated on Tuesday (July 11).

Related news: ASEAN has political will to make region stay nuclear-free: Marsudi

Translator: Yashinta P, Kenzu T
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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