Australia Foreign Minister optimistic about nuclear talks

10:41, May 05, 2010      

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Australia has been optimistic of the nuclear disarmament talks being held in the U.S., Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Wednesday.

Smith conceded the 2005 meeting "was a debacle", but said there were more positive signs leading up to this year's conference.

"We're quietly, cautiously optimistic that on this occasion we' ll see some forward movement," Smith told ABC Radio.

A new strategic arms reduction agreement between the United States and Russia as well as positive results out of the nuclear security summit in Washington all point to good results, Smith said.

In another significant move, the U.S. also has recently said it wanted to get involved in nuclear-free zones treaties established in the South Pacific and Africa.

"Whilst it's early days, I think we're going to see a more successful review conference on this occasion," Smith said.

Iran's nuclear program has been expected to be a key issue at the conference, with the United Nations Security Council set to consider imposing a fourth round of sanctions.

Australia supported the move to get Iran back before the council, Smith said.

Smith is in New York attending the 2010 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty Conference, where the global deal was undergoing its regular five-yearly review.

Source: Xinhua


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