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US supports idea to re-launch dialogue on conventional arms control in Europe

November 26, 2016, 1:59 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

"NATO Allies said at the Warsaw Summit that they support efforts to preserve, strengthen, and modernize conventional arms control in Europe," the US State Department official said

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© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON, November 26. /TASS/. The United States supports Germany’s proposal to re-launch "inclusive structured security dialogue" on conventional arms control in Europe, a US State Department official told TASS on Friday. He was commenting on the Ministerial declaration by the foreign ministers of the like-minded group supporting a relaunch of conventional arms control in Europe adopted earlier on Friday. The like-minded group includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Finland, France, Switzerland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The text of the document was published by the German Foreign Ministry.

"The United States believes the best way to begin to re-build military transparency and trust in Europe — and lay the basis for possible future efforts on arms control — is to engage in an inclusive structured security dialogue at the OSCE, as well as continue ongoing efforts to modernize the Vienna Document," the State Department official said.

"We understand that today German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and a number of his European counterparts called for a re-launching of conventional arms control as an important path towards genuine and effective cooperative security," he added.

"NATO Allies said at the Warsaw Summit that they support efforts to preserve, strengthen, and modernize conventional arms control in Europe, based on key principles and commitments, including reciprocity, transparency, and host nation consent. The United States stands by that position. While the United States commends Germany for drawing European attention to the need for more robust conventional arms control, until those key principles are being adhered to by Russia, it will not be possible to have productive European arms control negotiations," the State Department official noted.

The foreign ministers of 14 European countries said in the declaration that they are "preparing for an in-depth and inclusive debate on the future of conventional arms control in Europe through an exploratory, structured dialogue." "A central forum for such a dialogue is the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe," they added. "We call upon all states that share responsibility for Europe’s security to join our endeavor and to support a structured dialogue on conventional arms control in Europe. Working together, we can actively contribute to strengthening security for all on our continent," the noted stressing that "security in Europe is indivisible.".

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