Pres to seek parliamentary approval to sign Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced his decision to seek approval from the Parliament to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), a peace treaty signed in 1976 amongst the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). According to the President's Office, the Cabinet deliberated on a paper submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during Tuesday's virtual Cabinet meeting.

TAC is a peace treaty signed initially by ASEAN's founding members, later amended for accession by non-Southeast Asian states. The treaty's purpose is "to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and cooperation among their peoples, which would contribute to their strength, solidarity, and closer relationship."

The principles of the treaty encapsulate; mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations; the right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion; non-interference in the internal affairs of one another; settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful means; renunciation of the threat or use of force; and effective cooperation among themselves.

Submitting the paper to the Cabinet, Abdulla Shahid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that signing TAC would allow the Maldives to strengthen existing economic and multilateral ties with ASEAN countries, and open up new avenues of trade and cooperation.