RealNews

11 Nations to Discuss Blocking Shipments of Weapons Materials

Officials from the United States and 10 other countries will meet in Madrid today to discuss how they can use or change international law to prevent shipments of weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems. The meeting is the Bush administration’s attempt to create a multilateral setting — outside the United Nations — to explore ways to stop such countries as Iran and North Korea from importing or exporting nuclear materiel, ballistic missiles or other such weapons technologies. President Bush has repeatedly asserted the U.S. right to act, with other nations if possible but alone if necessary, to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of “rogue” states and terrorists. But he has had trouble persuading other nations to sign up for enforcement duty. The Madrid meeting is a first, informal gathering of “a small group of like-minded countries” interested in expanding international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as part of the “Proliferation Security Initiative” proposed by Bush in a May 31 speech in Krakow, Poland, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. Full Story

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