US Rejects Accusation Of Trying To Stall Cluster Bomb Pact

2/21/2008 2:10:54 AM Thursday, the United States rejected accusations that Washington was trying to stall negotiations on an international agreement to ban cluster bombs.


Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist and anti-land mine campaigner Jody Williams accused U.S. allies of making demands on its behalf to stall the talks. "The U.S. has put pressure on states to do these things," she told The Associated Press.

US Embassy spokeswoman Janine Burns clarified that Washington was not trying to hold up the negotiations and said the U.S. shares in the humanitarian concerns that have been raised about cluster munitions but is opposed to any ban on them because of their demonstrated military utility.

"The U.S. is concerned that any criminalization of cluster munitions would harm NATO and coalition joint operations and interoperability, and could adversely affect humanitarian missions by militaries," Burns said in a statement.

Delegates from more than 120 countries are meeting this week in New Zealand to discuss a pact that would ban the use, production, trade and storage of cluster bombs that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

The United States, which opposes the ban, did not send an official delegate to the meeting.

Von:, 21.02.2008

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