Nuclear states shun Asean treaty via Yahoo News

Phnom Penh (The Nation/ANN) – Nuclear weapons states will not sign the protocol of the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone treaty (SEANWFZ) at this week¿s Asean meeting as many of them still have reservations, Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul said yesterday.

Nuclear powers including the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom were supposed to sign the protocol when their representatives attended the Asean ministerial meeting in Cambodia this week. However, many of them voiced reservations to the group at short notice over their rights and sovereignties in zones defined as “nuclearweapons free”.

China, an immediate neighbour of Asean, voiced a specific concern that the nuclearfree zone might affect its sovereignty over territory, exclusive economic zone and continental shelves. Russia had reservations on the right of foreign ships and aircraft to pass into the nuclearfree zone, while France and the UK had reservations on the definition of the zone itself.

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