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Annan notes ‘with regret’ US ABM decision

Annan notes ‘with regret’ US decision to pull out of ABM treaty

14 December - The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today noted "with regret" the decision of the United States to withdraw unilaterally from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

A spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement that the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems "has served for many years as a cornerstone for maintaining global peace and security and strategic stability."

The Secretary-General was concerned the "annulation" of the treaty might provoke an arms race, especially in the missile area, and further undermine disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, the spokesman added.

"He calls upon all states to explore new binding and irreversible initiatives to avert such unwelcome effects," the spokesman said.

STATEMENT FOLLOWS...

New York, 14 December 2001 - on the ABM Treaty

The Secretary-General has noted with regret the decision of the United States of America to withdraw unilaterally from the 1972 Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems. The ABM Treaty has served for many years as a cornerstone for maintaining global peace and security and strategic stability.

He is concerned that the annulation of this treaty may provoke an arms race, especially in the missile area, and further undermine disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. He calls upon all states to explore new binding and irreversible initiatives to avert such unwelcome effects.

*****

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