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United States

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US government about the Pentagon's proposals of 4 March to repeal the 1993 legislation that bans research and development of further nuclear weapons. [112278]

We understand that the US Department of Defence has requested that the US Congress rescind US legislation that prohibits US government research and development into low-yield nuclear weapons. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed this matter with the US government.The US government stated in May 2003 at the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, that it is reducing reliance on nuclear weapons and is not developing, testing or producing any nuclear warheads and has not done so in more than a decade. The US confirmed that there is no current requirement for a new nuclear warhead and that the US President has not directed such work.