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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid