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Asean postpones signing nuclear protocol agreements


Four of the five recognized nuclear-weapon states have expressed reservations about signing Asean-proposed agreements to make the region a nuclear-free weapons zone, a Cambodian senior official said Monday.

The signings have been postponed until Asean-member states are able to work closely with the governments to resolve the issues, he said in a press briefing at the 45th Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting on Monday.

Four members of the group have expressed their reservations. They are France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States.

France voiced its reservations on the rights of self-defense, the U.K. on new threat and development, Russia on the rights of foreign ships and aircraft to pass into the nuclear free zone, he said, adding that the U.S. would not introduce the text of reservations before the signings, but only during the rectification process.

“We do hope that the signings should be done--all signing together--in November during the 21st Asean Summit,” said the spokesman. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations group includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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