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Iraq ratifies chemical weapons treaty

Jan. 14, 2009 at 2:23 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The United Nations welcomed an Iraqi decision to ratify a treaty banning chemical weapons as a sign of Baghdad's commitment to non-proliferation.

Hamid al-Bayati, the Iraqi envoy to the United Nations, said the ratification was indicative of Iraq's "goodwill and continued determination to remove the remnants and effects of the former regime and to work towards the stability of the Middle East," the official Kuwaiti News Agency reported.

A statement from the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ratification was evidence Iraq was reintegrating into the international community following years of weapons violations from the Saddam Hussein era.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein violated more than a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Bayati said ratification complies with Iraqi law and reflects Baghdad's commitment to disarmament and international security.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1762 (2007) called on the Iraqi government to report to the United Nations within one year of its passage on disarmament and non-proliferation developments.

The Iraqi ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention is seen in part as meeting that requirement.

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