PHNOM PENH, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- There will be no signing on the protocol to the treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the five recognized nuclear-weapon states (P5) during the 21st ASEAN Summit later this week because three out of the P5 are not ready to do that, said a Cambodian senior official on Thursday.
The P5 are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China.
"As the signing day approaches, Russia, France and the United Kingdom have expressed their reservations, so we postpone the signing to later date in order to continue further negotiations," Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said at a press briefing.
"Their reservations are against the article 17 of the SEANWFZ agreement," he said.
Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state at Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in July during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting that France voiced its reservations on the right of self- defense, UK on new threat and development, and Russia on the right of foreign ships and aircraft to pass into the nuclear free zone.
ASEAN leaders signed the SEANWFZ Treaty in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec. 15, 1995 and it took effect two years later. The negotiations between the ASEAN and the P5 on the protocol have been held since May 2001.
Founded in 1967, the ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.