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US says it will work to join intl. mine ban treaty

The US government says it will no longer produce landmines that target people and wants to eventually join an international treaty banning the weapons.

The White House released a statement on Friday in which it said the US will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines in the future and will not replace expiring stockpiles.

The statement said the government is pursuing solutions that would ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines.

The international treaty went into effect in 1999 with the endorsement of about 160 countries, including Japan.
The United States government has not joined the convention, citing what it sees as the strategic necessity of landmines with the absence of prominent countries in the pact, such as China and Russia.

The statement stressed US support of humanitarian efforts, including the clearing of landmines. But it stopped short of mentioning when it would join the convention.

Anti-personnel landmines buried in conflict regions across the world are causing civilian casualties.

Jun. 28, 2014 - Updated 00:00 UTC