Norway signed an amity and cooperation treaty with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday, vowing to further develop ties with the 10-member regional bloc.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, who attended the signing ceremony with his ten ASEAN counterparts, said the accession to the treaty is “a natural extension of our long- standing engagement in the region and our commitment to multilateralism.”
Eide announced a Norwegian ASEAN Regional Initiatives Fund of 7 million U.S. dollars as a step to further engagement with ASEAN.
The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia is a non- aggression and cooperation pact between ASEAN members and partners. First signed by the then ASEAN members of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in 1976, the non-ASEAN parties to the treaty include China, India, Japan, the United States, Russia and the European Union.