Agreement between Two Countries is Called What?

When two countries come together to sign an agreement, it is often called by various names. The term used to describe such an agreement often depends on the nature and scope of the agreement. In this article, we will explore the various terms used to describe an agreement between two countries.


A treaty is an international agreement concluded between two or more states in written or verbal form. It is a formal agreement that is binding in international law. The term treaty is often used to describe agreements that are considered to be relatively significant in nature. Examples of treaties include the Paris Agreement on climate change and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


A protocol is a written agreement that supplements an existing treaty or serves as a standalone agreement. It is usually used to clarify or amend the provisions of a treaty. Protocols are often used to update treaties and to address emerging issues not covered by the original treaty. Examples of protocols include the Second Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions on the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):

A Memorandum of Understanding is a non-binding agreement between two or more parties. It is often used as a preliminary agreement in preparation for the negotiation of a formal treaty. An MOU is useful for setting out the general principles of cooperation between two countries. Examples of MOUs include those signed between the United States and China on trade and investment.

Executive Agreement:

An executive agreement is an agreement between two countries that is made by the executive branch of the government without the need for approval by the legislative branch. Executive agreements are often used to address issues where a treaty is not required or where the approval process for a treaty would be too lengthy. Examples of executive agreements include the US-Canada Auto Pact and the US-Soviet Grain Agreement.


In conclusion, there are several terms used to describe an agreement between two countries. The choice of term often depends on the nature and scope of the agreement. Treaties, protocols, memorandums of understanding, and executive agreements are all examples of agreements that can be concluded between two countries. As a copy editor, it is important to be aware of the different terms used to describe such agreements and ensure that the appropriate term is used in any related content.