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|June 9, 1998||
Chirac airs differences with US over sanctions
French President Jacques Chirac has publicly differed with the United States on its policy of slapping nuclear- related sanctions on India and Pakistan, and instead favoured a dialogue to persuade the two countries to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
In a television interview in Washington last night, he hoped that the two South Asian nations would sign the CTBT and agree to join the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.
When his attention was drawn to their adverse reactions of India and Pakistan to the resolution adopted in Geneva on Friday by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which, inter alia, asked them to sign the CTBT, he said, ''They reacted badly, I think, for political reasons.''
Chirac: Yes, not for technical reasons. They think that the other nuclear countries humiliate them. And they react. It is a problem of face. They do not want to be humiliated. We must understand that. But I think that if we discuss with them, they can sign the CTBT, the treaty of no more tests. And they could accept the cut-off system. This would be great progress. A new nuclear order
Do you think we are entering a new era now, however, in which there are going to be several new nuclear states in the world?
Chirac: Well, that's the reality.
Excuse me, so do you mean you think there will be others in addition to India and Pakistan?
Chirac: That is a reality. It is possible, I mean. There is a risk. And that's why we cannot change the Non-Proliferation Treaty, because we would open the door to quite a lot of new countries.
When asked as to why France and the other European countries did not join the United States and Japan in imposing economic sanctions on India and Pakistan after they conducted nuclear tests in defiance of public opinion, he said that ''that was not a great difference. And, we think it's not a good way to avoid proliferation''.
He, however, said the imposition or threat of imposition of economic sanctions did not succeed in avoiding the nuclear tests.
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