THE preparation for the continuation of international treaties in Hongkong has been delayed by the Sino-British row, Attorney-General Mr Jeremy Mathews admitted yesterday. He said there hadn't been a meeting of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) sub-group of experts on international rights and obligations since last year. Stressing the importance of international links to the future of Hongkong, Mr Mathews said: ''An essential element of these links is the network of international agreements in which Hongkong is included. ''We've achieved a great deal already and work is continuing.'' The existing 200 multilateral international treaties by Hongkong could be effective with the approval of Chinese and British governments in JLG meetings. A vital issue, according to Mr Mathews, was that China was not a party to many of these treaties. More than 100 have been settled so far which would be applicable to the Hongkong Special Administrative Region after 1997. Among these are the conventions or treaties establishing 27 international organisations such as the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade, International Labour Organisation and the International Monetary Fund. Mr Mathews maintained that there had been good progress with the negotiation of the treaties, but he warned that Hongkong would suffer from any delay in the discussions. ''These agreements are for the benefit of Hongkong, for the benefit of the Hongkong people and it would be in nobody's interest if Hongkong is forced out of the network that these agreements provide,'' he said. The agreements include around 180 treaties concerning the areas of air services, extradition, enforcement of civil judgements and investment protection.