US to stop producing or buying landmines

Statement signalling intention to join Ottawa Convention banning landmines coincides with Maputo review meeting.

    The White House says the US will no longer produce or acquire anti-personnel landmines in the future and intends to join the Ottawa Convention that bans their use.

    The White House statement on Friday did not indicate when the US would join the treaty or specify the size of its stockpile.

    "Today at a review conference in Maputo, Mozambique, the United States took the step of declaring it will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines (APL) in the future, including to replace existing stockpiles as they expire," the statement said.

    In 2009, the US said it was reviewing its position on landmines but failed to sign the treaty that bans the use of APLs, along with Russia and China.

    Nuclear powers India and Pakistan have also refused to sign up.

    This week's conference in Maputo aimed to see what difference the ban has made, and what more must be done.

    "Our delegation in Maputo made clear that we are diligently pursuing solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Ottawa Convention - the treaty banning the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of APL," Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in the statement.

    Now mines are rarely used in conflicts, and even countries that have not signed up abide by most of its rules.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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