Clinton to join security talks in Germany

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will later this week travel to Germany to attend international security talks and exchange documents putting into force a US-Russian nuclear arms treaty.

Clinton spokesman Philip Crowley said she will take part in the Munich Security Conference from Friday through Saturday as well as hold bilateral meetings and speak about the "transatlantic security relationship."

German organizers said among those attending will be Afghan President Hamid Karzai, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

On Saturday, Crowley said Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will exchange instruments of ratification for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which will then enter into force.

A responsible partnership between the world's two largest nuclear powers to limit our nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability is imperative to promoting global security," Crowley said in a statement.

"With New START, the United States and Russia have reached another milestone in our bilateral relationship and continue the momentum Presidents (Barack) Obama and (Dmitry) Medvedev created with the 'reset' nearly two years ago," he said.

Medvedev signed the new START agreement's ratification on January 28 after the milestone pact's passage the same week by both houses of Russia's parliament and the US Senate last month.

Crowley did not refer to a meeting of the international Quartet of Middle East mediators, who are due to hold a high-level meeting in Munich on Saturday to try to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

That meeting was announced by the European Union on January 13.

© 2011 AFP

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