08/06/1998 04:00:57 Carter, Gorbachev, others urge talks to end nukes
WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Former President Jimmy Carter
and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev appealed on Thursday
for talks to abolish nuclear weapons, citing new global dangers
created by India and Pakistan's atomic tests.
In an appeal to mark the 53rd anniversary of America's use
of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Carter, Gorbachev and other
luminaries said the India-Pakistan tests in May magnified the
risks of proliferation and cast a harsh light on the arsenals
of declared nuclear powers.
"The two main components of nuclear danger - proliferation
on the one hand, and the remaining Cold War arsenals on the
other -- can no longer be considered in isolation. They must be
addressed together," the appeal said.
It called for negotiations to reduce and eliminate nuclear
weapons "in a series of well-defined stages accompanied by
increasing verification and control."
The declared nuclear powers -- the United States, Russia,
China, Britain and France -- jointly possess some 35,000
They have made a vague commitment to abolish them one day,
but believe that for the present, residual stockpiles serve as
a useful deterrent to each other and to other countries that
might seek to acquire atomic arms.
As well as Carter and Gorbachev, signatories of the appeal
included former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel
Peace prize winner, and former Sens. Alan Cranston, a
California Democrat, and Mark Hatfield, an Oregon Republican.
The Fourth Freedom Forum, a U.S. anti-nuclear group which
organized the appeal, said it would be used as the basis for a
worldwide campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, gathering
signatures from key defense figures and opinion makers.