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Southeast Asia to be declared as nuclear weapon-free zone by signing protocol

07-05-2012 14:25 BJT

PHNOM PENH, July 5 (Xinhua) -- After 12 years of negotiations, the five recognized nuclear-weapon states (P5) finally agree to sign on the protocol to the treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) next Thursday here, Cambodian senior officials said Thursday.

The P5 include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia. They are all going to sign the protocol on July 12 here during an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting with those countries' foreign ministers, Koy Kuong, spokesman for Cambodia's ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, told Xinhua.

"As the chair of 2012 ASEAN, Cambodia is pleased to see all the five recognized nuclear-weapon states to sign the protocol," he said. "Their upcoming signatures reflect their support for the SEANWFZ."

The protocol requires the P5 not to contribute to any violation of the treaty and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons within the SEANWFZ. In addition, the P5 would commit to stopping nuclear weapon proliferation and testing in the Southeast Asia.

ASEAN leaders signed the SEANWFZ Treaty in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 15, 1995 and it took effect two years later. The negotiations between the ASEAN and the five recognized nuclear-weapon states on the protocol have been held since May 2001.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) group Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua