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Swiss favour comprehensive nuclear test ban

For Joseph Deiss, Switzerland remains committed to a total nuclear test ban Keystone

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has reaffirmed the government's stand in favour of a total and universal nuclear test ban.

Speaking on Monday at a meeting of the comprehensive test ban treaty commission in New York, Deiss said the agreement is an important tool for weapons control. “By adopting this treaty, we are sending a clear message to the countries who have yet to sign it,” said the foreign minister.

Switzerland is one of 44 countries with nuclear capacity whose ratification is needed to make the treaty effective. The parliament approved it in 1999.

India, North Korea and Pakistan have yet to make the first step and sign the agreement.

Former US President Bill Clinton signed the treaty for the United States, but the Congress still hasn’t given its approval. “The Americans want to keep their options open,” said Erwin Hofer of the Swiss foreign ministry.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions, for military or civilian purposes. A partial treaty came into effect in 1963, which banned nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater and in space.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR