Washington: A key Republican senator who
helped vote down US ratification of a nuclear test ban treaty
10 years ago, said he would now consider supporting it.
Sen John McCain, the last Republican presidential
nominee, told that he still has concerns
but could support the treaty, if they are addressed before
In a separate interview, another important Republican who
voted against the treaty in 1999, Sen Richard Lugar, said he
has not yet made up his mind.
President Barack Obama has said that ratifying the treaty
is a priority as he tries to reverse the spread of nuclear
weapons and reduce the threat that they will be used.
The two Republicans could prove pivotal for Senate
ratification. Even if all Democrats and their allies back the
treaty, Obama would need the support of at least seven
Lugar and McCain are two of the top Republicans on
national security and would likely have sway over their
colleagues. Lugar is the senior Republican on the Foreign
Relations Committee; McCain, Obama`s former Presidential
opponent, is the senior Republican on the Armed Services
McCain has embraced Obama`s goal of eliminating all the
world`s nuclear weapons and said that a global test ban would
be a step forward if it were implemented prudently.