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Following Obama Victory, U.S. Backs New U.N. Arms

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    Posted: Nov 08 2012 at 1:00pm
Following Obama Victory, U.S. Backs New U.N. Arms Treaty Talks

Just hours after President Barack Obama secured a second term in the White House, the United States supported the U.N. in its bid Wednesday to reignite talks over an international treaty regulating the $70 billion global conventional arms trade, according to Reuters:

U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.

The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States – along with Russia and other major arms producers – said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.

A U.S. official said Washington’s goals have always been the same.

“We seek a treaty that contributes to international security by fighting illicit arms trafficking and proliferation, protects the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade, and meets the concerns that we have been articulating throughout,” the official said.

“We will not accept any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms.”

According to Reuters, U.S. officials have also acknowledged — albeit in private — that the treaty would not infringe on domestic gun ownership or sales and would only affect exports. Reuters adds:

The main reason the arms trade talks are taking place at all is that the United States – the world’s biggest arms trader accounting for more than 40 percent of global conventional arms transfers – reversed U.S. policy on the issue after Obama was first elected and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.

 
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