express agreement between nations under international law
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A treaty is a written agreement between two or more parties. International treaties are covered by international law. The parties may be countries or other important groups. A treaty may be about any subject.

The Treaty of Tordesillas

Two countries might agree to stop a war, or declare war on a common enemy. Very common are treaties where a country promises to come to the aid of another country if the other country is attacked. Treaties about trade are also common. They may allow allow each other's citizens or merchandise to cross borders freely. For example, the European Union is set up by treaties between most of the European nations. It arranges that trade of products and services is free between the member states of the European Union.

In general, treaties are usually used to settle disputes, or to avoid disputes.

Famous treaties