US, Armenia Sign Deal To Fight Nuclear Smuggling


Agence France Presse
July 14 2008

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Armenian counterpart
Edward Nalbandian signed a deal Monday to fight the smuggling of
nuclear and radioactive materials, the State Department said.

The deal significantly boosts joint US-Armenian "efforts to combat
the threat that nuclear or highly radioactive materials could be
acquired by terrorists or others who would use them to harm us,"
it said in a statement.

The agreement spells out the US-Armenian intention to cooperate
to boost Armenia’s capabilities "to prevent, detect, and respond
effectively to attempts to smuggle nuclear or radioactive materials,"
the department added.

"It specifies twenty-eight agreed steps that the two governments
intend to be taken for this purpose."

The statement said Armenia will be able to take some of the steps on
its own, but would receive either US or international assistance in
implementing other measures, it said.

"This assistance would complement and be carefully coordinated with
the aid the Republic of Armenia is already receiving from various US
and international assistance programs," it added.

The State Department said the agreement is the fifth of its kind
concluded by the US government’s Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative,
with previous ones completed with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia,
and the Kyrgyz Republic.

"The US government intends to conclude similar agreements with
approximately twenty additional countries where the risk of nuclear
smuggling is of particular concern."