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Breakthrough On Cluster Bombs Closer - British PM

Breakthrough On Cluster Bombs Draws Closer

The international community is close to agreeing a convention that will prohibit the manufacture and use of cluster bombs, the PM has said.

In a Downing Street statement, the Prime Minister said that 10 days of "intense talks" in Dublin were about to bring a "major breakthrough" on banning the contoversial weapon that causes "unacceptable harm" to civilians.

The Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions is taking place from 19-30 May 2008, continuing the process which began in Oslo in February 2007 and continued in Lima in May 2007, Vienna in December 2007 and Wellington in February 2008.

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FULL STATEMENT

"After 10 days of intense talks in Dublin, we are now very close to agreement on a new international Convention prohibiting the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

"In order to secure as strong a Convention as possible in the last hours of negotiation we have issued instructions that we should support a ban on all cluster bombs, including those currently in service by the UK.

"This Convention will be a major breakthrough, and builds on the UK's leadership on landmines and the Arms Trade Treaty. We will now work to encourage the widest possible international support for the new Convention."

ENDS

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