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| 11/27/2009 12:00:00 AM

Review of Land Mine Treaty ‘to Take Some Time,’ State Dept. Says

Nov 27--The United States is continuing to review its policy on the use of land mines, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday, clarifying an earlier comment in which he said that the Obama administration had concluded it needed the weapons.

The spokesman, Ian C. Kelly, said in a statement that the review was “going to take some time” and that while it continued, the current policy of declining to join an international accord to ban the mines would remain.

A conference is planned next weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, to review the 10-year-old treaty that bans the use, stockpiling, production or transfer of antipersonnel mines. It has been endorsed by 156 countries, but the United States, Russia, China and India are among the countries that have not adopted it.

The United States will send mine relief experts from the State Department, the Defense Department, the United States Agency for International Development and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as observers to Cartagena. It will be the first time the United States has sent observers to a gathering of states that have accepted the treaty.
 
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