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Australia's role in new US nuclear weapons plan

Howard must reveal Australia's role in new US nuclear weapons plan

The Australian Greens today called on Prime Minister John Howard to reveal whether he discussed a role for Australia in the new US nuclear weapons plan when he met US President George Bush last month.

Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said reports that the US planned to develop new nuclear weapons defied the international community's goal of reducing nuclear arsenals, as set out in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"The US government has been caught out by the US Supreme Court in defying international standards by establishing Guantanamo Bay prison camp," Senator Milne said in Sydney.

"Now the US is reported to be planning a new generation of nuclear weapons, undermining the nuclear NPT.

"We know that Prime Minister Howard discussed a role for Australia in President Bush's new global nuclear supplier group. We also know that the Prime Minister's real agenda with his private nuclear review is to support expanded uranium mining, enrichment, leasing of nuclear fuel, and storing high-level waste.

"The Prime Minister must now tell the Australian people whether these talks in Washington last month included deploying US nuclear weapons on Australian soil.

"The Prime Minister must not hide behind freedom of information laws like his department, which has refused to release any information about the Washington talks.

"Australians do not want to be part of a plan that will make the world less safe and undermines international law."

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