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`US admn not to take CTBT to Cong till confident of passage`

Last Updated: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 16:49

Washington: The Obama Administration would
not push for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
(CTBT) by the US Congress until it is confident about its
passage, a top American official has said.

"The (US) President has set no specific timeline for
achieving ratification," the Administration`s
non-proliferation czar Ellen Tauscher told the `Arms Control
Today` in an interview published in its latest issue.

Tauscher, who is the Undersecretary of State for Arms
Control and International Security, said the Obama
Administration, is however, committed to advancing the CTBT.

"The CTBT is both about policy and about politics. This
administration will not attempt to (seek ratification) unless
we believe it can actually pass," she said.

In 1999, the US Senate had voted 51-48 against the CTBT

"So there is a lot about this that is important to
informing (the public and Congress) to gain (the Senate`s)
advice and consent," Tauscher said.

"Part of it is clearly a domestic campaign, and there is
a lot of international interest because of the consequences of
United States ratification for those eight Annex II countries
... The whole question of going into force is on the bubble."

Under Annex II of CTBT, 44 specified states must ratify
it to bring it into force. China, Egypt, India, Indonesia,
Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and US are the countries
on the list that have not ratified the treaty.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 16:49

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