World churches leader hails US and Russian nuclear weapons cuts

By agency reporter
July 8, 2009

The United States' and Russia's public commitment to cut back their stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons "is an encouraging initiative and a step forward on the difficult but essential journey that the world must take to free itself from the spectre of self-destruction," the World Council of Churches General Secretary, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia said in a statement yesterday (7 July 2009).

The US President Barack Obama and the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have reached an outline agreement to reduce the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads to below 1,700 on each side within seven years of a new treaty.

"We recognize the commitment of both the US and Russian leaders' joint responsibility for nuclear arms control. We urge them to stand side by side in that shared responsibility and make urgent and unambiguous progress together. In fact, we believe that by doing so they will gradually gain the moral authority needed to encourage other states in eliminating these weapons of mass destruction," the WCC statement continues.

The full text of the WCC General Secretary's statement can be read here:

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