October 26, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Ukraine may sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) with ASEAN while Cambodia is hosting the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related meetings in November, a senior official said.
Chum Sonry, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said ASEAN is in talks with Ukraine on the signing of the TAC, noting that Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba may also be attending the upcoming summit.
“If all goes well, the signing ceremony will take place. As the host country, we will provide a venue for any bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, but we will not be involved in lobbying for any arrangements between Russia and Ukraine.”
Sonry said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have increased Ukraine’s interest in becoming a party to the treaty, which it expressed interest in back in August when the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Greece, the Netherlands and Denmark all signed on to the pact.
However, because Ukraine was late in submitting its proposal, Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat could not resolve it in time for that occasion.
According to the ASEAN Secretariat, the TAC was established in 1976 and is meant to embody the universal principles of peaceful coexistence and friendly cooperation among states in Southeast Asia with other countries around the world. TAC secures legitimacy for inter-state relations across the region, with 49 countries having signed the treaty to date.
Cambodia is set to host the ASEAN Summit and related meetings from November 8-13 in Phnom Penh.
Back on September 24, after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting concluded, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that the ASEAN foreign ministers had agreed to allow Ukraine into the TAC.
“We look forward to a new chapter in Ukraine-ASEAN relations and this is one of the goals of Ukraine’s Asia strategy,” he tweeted.