09/08/2006, 00.00
CENTRAL ASIA
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Central Asian nations sign nuclear weapons-free zone treaty

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan ban the production, acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons in their territories. Nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is allowed.

Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Five former Soviet republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan—signed a treaty creating a zone free of nuclear weapons in Central Asia on Friday in Semipalatinsk, a nuclear test site used by the former Soviet Union in eastern Kazakhstan.

By this treaty the parties commit themselves to ban the production, acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons and its components, as well as other nuclear explosive devices, in their respective territories.

The treaty does not however prohibit the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The five Central Asian countries worked on the treaty for nine years with the strong support and under the auspices of the United Nations.

Similar zones have been established in South America, Africa, and the Pacific Ocean.

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