Norway to sign TAC to boost
ASEAN ties

Norway, a small but rich Nordic country, will sign the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) to develop the relationship between Norway and the regional organization, a top Norwegian diplomat says.

“We will be signing the TAC during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting in Brunei Darussalam,” Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Stig Traavik told The Jakarta Post.

The TAC, also known as Bali Concord I, was first signed by all ASEAN members in 1976 in Bali and was amended in 1996 to allow non Southeast Asian countries to accede to the treaty. So far, 31 countries from across the globe have signed the TAC, with Norway becoming the 32nd member of the treaty.

However, a source at ASEAN said there would be a moratorium on the signing of the TAC by new countries.

The TAC has been widely recognized as a code of conduct in inter-state relations in Southeast Asia, embodying the universal principles of peaceful coexistence and friendly cooperation among states in the region.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will kick off on Saturday in Bandar Seri Begawan. The post ministerial conferences — the 20th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and third East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting — will be held until July 2, the ASEAN Secretariat said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are working on efforts to build a resilient, dynamic and sustainable community by 2015 and the potential for strengthening coordination, collaboration and coalition between ASEAN and dialogue partners in working toward mutual understanding, political dialogue and friendly cooperation,” ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said in the statement.

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