News / USA

Obama, Colin Powell Urge New START Approval

President Barack Obama talks with reporters after his meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powel (l) on the importance of ratifying the New START Treaty, 01 Dec 2010
President Barack Obama talks with reporters after his meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powel (l) on the importance of ratifying the New START Treaty, 01 Dec 2010
Kent Klein

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined President Barack Obama in urging the Senate to ratify the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. Powell is the latest Republican to call for a "yes" vote.

As a top official in several Republican administrations, Colin Powell has worked on numerous arms control treaties over the past 25 years.

Powell called on the Senate to ratify New START, as he met with President Obama at the White House Wednesday. He said the treaty will make the world safer, as the previous agreements have.

"As a result of these treaties, we have both benefited, both the Russian Federation now and the United States of America," said Powell. "But the world has benefited by having fewer of these horrible weapons in existence. And we hope that we can continue this process."

If ratified, the New START treaty would limit the United States and Russia to 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 launchers each.

Under the agreement, both countries would resume inspections of each other's nuclear facilities, which stopped last December when the START One treaty expired. The president says the lack of verification makes approval of the new treaty even more urgent.

"We do not have a verification mechanism to ensure that we know what the Russians are doing," said President Obama. "And they do not know what we are doing. And when you have uncertainty in the area of nuclear weapons, that is a much more dangerous world to live in."

Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the treaty last April in Prague.

Some opposition Republicans in the U.S. Senate are refusing to vote for the agreement, due to concerns about some of its provisions. The president says his administration has addressed those concerns, and it is time for the lawmakers to act.

"We have had 18 separate hearings," said Obama. "We have answered over a thousand questions. We have offered to brief every single Senator, Republican and Democrat, around these issues, but now it is time to get this done."

Reluctant Republicans, led by Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, say New START does not provide enough money to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and would weaken American missile defense.

Powell says while the treaty is not ideal, it is more than adequate in those areas.

"The president has indicated to the Senate, and especially to Senator Kyl, that a significant amount of money will be invested in the reliability and modernization of our systems and our facilities," he said. "And that is very, very important."

All 42 Republican Senators Wednesday signed a letter to the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying they will not pass any legislation until a bill to cut taxes is passed.

Mr. Obama said he is confident a tax cut deal can be reached.

Powell has joined four other Republican former secretaries of state, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Henry Kissinger, in writing an opinion piece for Thursday's Washington Post newspaper, urging the Senate to ratify New START.

He and the president also discussed North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid