RealNews

Panama Joins Proliferation Security Initiative

Panama has agreed to join the U.S.-sponsored Proliferation Security Initiative, a move that would permit the United States to search Panama’s flagships in international waters if they are suspected of transporting weapons of mass destruction or WMD equipment, Bush administration officials said yesterday. Under the agreement, Panama and the United States would be able to ask each other for permission on short notice to board their respective flagships on the open seas. The ship’s cargo could then be seized if it is found to be related to unconventional weapons programs, according to the New York Times. One senior Bush administration official said Panama’s decision to join the initiative is a “significant expansion” of the effort to halt the smuggling of nuclear, chemical and biological arms and related equipment. Full Story

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