India, Pakistan extend nuke accidents risks accord

February 21st, 2012 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 21 (IANS) India and Pakistan Tuesday announced a five-year extension of their agreement on reducing the mutual risk from nuclear weapons accidents.

“Both countries have agreed to extend the agreement for another period of five years. The existing validity was up to Feb 20, 2012,” India’s external affairs ministry said in a statement here.

The validity was extended in accordance with Article 8 of the Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons signed by the two nuclear-armed neighbours on Feb 21, 2007.

The decision to extend the accord was sealed during the sixth round of bilateral expert-level talks on nuclear confidence building measures held in Islamabad on Dec 27 last year.

The agreement had entered into force on Feb 21, 2007, for an initial duration of five years, said a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

“It aims at reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons,” it said.

During the December talks, India and Pakistan had reviewed an array of existing nuclear and conventional CBMs and decided to move forward on proposals to extend two key agreements related to pre-notification of ballistic missile tests and reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons.

A proposal for an agreement to prevent “incidents at sea”, involving naval vessels of the two countries, was also discussed.

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