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Iran, ASEAN ink friendship, cooperation treaty

04 August 2018

"The United States is a Pacific nation, and we remain committed to Asean centrality under our Indo-Pacific strategy", he said.

Concerns over ongoing nuclear and missile activity in North Korea surged after The Washington Post reported Tuesday that USA intelligence officials believe Pyongyang is continuing to build new missiles in the same research facility it used to build intercontinental missiles capable of reaching the East Coast of the United States.

On the sidelines of the event, Zarif held separate meetings with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as well as his Philippine, Japanese and Turkish counterparts for talks on bilateral ties as well as regional and worldwide issues, including the Iran nuclear agreement.

ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising 10 Southeast Asian countries - Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

Malaysia also said in March it had foiled a cyber-heist of its central bank.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah also noted the fact that Asean and China agreed to the single text is an "important step forward".

Last year, Asean and the U.S. marked the 40th anniversary of their relations. "We look forward to furthering practical cooperation by exercising these plans during the sea exercise later this year", Colonel Lim Yu Chuan, exercise co-director and commanding officer of Republic of Singapore Navy's 185 Squadron said in a statement.

Facebook said it has identified a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead its users and sow dissension among voters ahead of November's U.S. congressional elections.

The treaty comes only two months after US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of an worldwide nuclear agreement with Iran and announced that he would re-impose economic sanctions that were largely lifted under that deal.

One of Trump's early acts in office was to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which involved four Southeast Asian states.

Beijing also suggested that China and ASEAN could carry out joint oil and gas exploration in the waters, but again proposed that firms from countries outside the region be excluded from such activities, the document says.

Asean foreign ministers started a meeting Thursday in Singapore, focusing on North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and China's assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Singapore's prime minister said on Thursday the deal would create the world's largest trading bloc, covering a third of the global economy.

China, along with North Korea and the United States, is a signatory to the armistice that concluded the 1950-53 Korean War, rather than a peace treaty.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meeting, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Iran, ASEAN ink friendship, cooperation treaty