NATO urges US Senate to ratify START treaty
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged the US Senate on Friday to ratify a new nuclear pact with Russia, warning that any delay would be "damaging" to the security of Europe.
"I would strongly regret if the ratification of the START treaty is delayed," Rasmussen told a news conference on the first day of a meeting of NATO leaders.
"A delay of the ratification of the START treaty would be damaging to security in Europe," he said.
"I strongly encourage all parties involved to do their utmost to ensure an early ratification of the START treaty."
In a separate news briefing, US President Barack Obama reiterated that the treaty was a "national security imperative" for his country.
"But just as it is a national security priority for the United States, the message that I've received since I arrived from my fellow leaders here at NATO could not be clearer: new START will strengthen our alliance and it will strengthen European security," Obama said.
© 2010 AFP