Obama administration revises statement on land mine policy, says review ongoing

By Desmond Butler, AP
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

US revises statement on land mine policy

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is backtracking on an announcement that it had reviewed its policy allowing military use of land mines and decided to leave it in place.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the administration had completed a review and decided not sign a treaty banning land mines.

But in a statement Wednesday, Kelly said that there had been only a partial review concerning who would represent the United States at a conference on the international Mine Ban Treaty next week in Cartegena, Colombia.

Kelly said the administration is still looking at its overall policy. The new statement follows criticism by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy.

More than 150 countries have agreed to the treaty’s provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines.

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