US demurs on mine ban pledge

MAPUTO: The United States is still not ready to commit to an international treaty banning landmines which has been signed by more than 160 countries, a US official said on Monday.
Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention are being urged at a conference in Mozambique to commit to ensuring no armed forces anywhere on earth use anti-personnel mines by 2025. But the US, Russia and China, as well as nuclear powers India and Pakistan, are yet to sign the mine ban treaty aimed at eliminating the weapons, which cause huge civilian casualties even years after wars have ended. In 2009, Washington said it was reviewing its position on landmines but has failed to sign the treaty despite pressure from campaign groups. Asked whether the US would announce a policy change at the Maputo summit, a State Department conference observer told AFP: “No, the review process is ongoing.” 

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Aaj Kal