Major Breakthrough on Arms Pact between US, Russia: Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that America and Russia have made a major breakthrough on a new pact to cut down nuke arsenals, substituting Soviet-era START-1 treaty that ended December last, said media reports.

“The results of the latest rounds suggest that the parties will come to a completion of the talks shortly,” Clinton was quoted as saying.

He made the statement at a joint press conference after meeting her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday.

Negotiators from the two countries are holding discussions in Geneva on new agreement to control nuclear arms that will replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) of 1991. However, no agreement has been reached as yet.

They briefed both Clinton and Lavrov on the state of Geneva discussions as they met to take their bilateral relationship in a positive direction, said reports.

Recently, US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had expressed hope during a telephonic conversation that the new pact could be finalized soon.

Clinton reached Moscow in the morning to sort out the remaining issues so that the new agreement on arms control could be inked before the global nuclear summit in Washington next month, reports said.

She is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin tomorrow, who had earlier expressed his views on linking the new pact with the US plans for deployment of missile shields.

Clinton will also attend the the ministerial meeting of the West Asia Quartet comprising of Russia, US, EU and UN to seek a lasting solution.

Earlier today after their talks, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that they are in favour of ‘direct talks’ between Palestinian Authority and Israel, said reports.

(Based on internet reports)

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