Former NATO-Allied Leaders Urge Further Support for Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty as START Set to Expire

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Leaders from Albania, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Turkey, Iceland, the Netherlands and numerous others co-signed the letter, despite declining to join the Treaty, citing the need for nuclear weapons from the United States being essential to their security.

56 former leaders representing 20 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as well as Japan and South Korea, have called on additional world powers to back the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealed on Monday.

The risk of using nuclear weapons “whether by accident, miscalculation or design” was rising, the leaders said.

All countries were urged to “heed the warnings of scientists, doctors and other experts” and take urgent action for disarmament “before it is too late”, the open letter stated.

According to the letter, nuclear weapons served “no legitimate military or strategic purpose” due to the “catastrophic human and environmental consequences of their use”.

But five countries – Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey – host nuclear bombs from the US and would need to remove them after signing the Treaty, ICAN said.

The open letter argues that nations were promoting the “dangerous and misguided belief that nuclear weapons enhance security”, adding that they should work towards a nuclear-free world.

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