McCain mulls backing nuke test ban
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Last Updated: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 14:58
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 another vote.

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 Republicans.

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 Committee.

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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 14:58

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