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ASEAN to consider anti-terror pact

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 18:24 IST
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Southeast Asian leaders will consider a legally binding counter-terrorism pact during an annual meeting in Philippines, an official said.

The proposed Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention on Counter-Terrorism (ACCT) is an initiative of the Philippines.

"As drafted, it would be a legally binding agreement," said MC Abad, spokesperson for Ong Keng Yong, Secretary General of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"It would be the first regional arrangement in full conformity with the 13 international conventions and protocol on counter-terrorism as well as the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy," Abad said on Thursday.

Abad said he was confident that the ACCT would be approved by ASEAN leaders during their 12th summit in Cebu, Philippines from December 10-13.

"The ACCT would make it an obligation for member countries to extend mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, including extradition or prosecution of perpetrators of terrorist acts," he said.

"As an instrument of judicial and criminal law, it will identify criminal acts of terrorism in accordance with the UN conventions and protocols relating to terrorism," he added.

Abad said ASEAN leaders would also discuss a proposed charter, which would be drafted by a high-level task force based on recommendations by an eminent persons group.

He said the recommendations were "expected to be bold and visionary" and would "strengthen ASEAN institutional mechanisms".

ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).

The group's leaders will be joined by their counterparts from South Korea, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and India during the summit in Cebu.

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