Britain welcomes US green light for nuclear weapons treaty

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Britain on Thursday hailed the US ratification of the new START treaty on reducing nuclear missile arsenals, saying it would contribute to greater trust among nations and increased global security.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was "an important step towards our long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons" and called on Russia to ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

"The United States and Russia together have 90 percent of the world's nuclear arsenals and this treaty will contribute to increased trust and security for all," Hague said in a statement.

"We now look forward to ratification of the treaty by Russia and its subsequent entry into force."

Hague added: "The international community must now take advantage of this step to bring fresh momentum to implementation of all commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), specifically the action plans agreed at this year's successful NPT Review Conference."

US senators ratified the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on Wednesday after a political wrangle lasting months.

President Barack Obama hailed the ratification as "the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades".

© 2010 AFP

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