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(15/07/2005)

Belgian House of Representatives ask withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe





Belgian House of Representatives ask withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe

Brussels, July 15th 2005 - The Belgian House of Representatives has adopted a resolution on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, calling for the withdrawal of the US nuclear weapons based in Europe. They also ask to exclude nuclear weapons from the common EU security policy. This is the second time that a parliamentary assembly in Europe demands the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons. The Belgian Senate approved a similar resolution last April 21st 2005, just prior to the NPT Review Conference in New York which ended in failure. An estimated 480 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons are suspected to be based in Belgium, Germany, England, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. The United States is currently the only country to have nuclear weapons stationed on the territory of other countries.

The resolution of the Belgian House comes just prior to the 60th anniversary of the first Trinity nuclear test in the "Jornada del Muerto"-valley in New Mexico on July 16th 1945. Since that day 2.053 nuclear weapons were detonated, or on average 1 every 10 days since 1945. Three weeks after the successful nuclear blast in New Mexico the inhabitants of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to suffer the first A-bomb attacks, making an estimated of 237.062 casualties. More information: http://www.motherearth.org/walk/tests.php

To increase pressure today the mayor of Hiroshima, Mr. Akiba Tadatoshi, calls people to participate between July 26th and August 9th in a For Mother Earth peace walk from Ypres to NATO headquarters in Brussels, and onwards to the U.S. nuclear weapon base in Kleine Brogel, in the north of Belgium. Also Belgian mayors are increasingly getting involved with the campaign of the Mayors for Peace, as almost half of Belgian mayors joined the global call for elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. Mr. Akiba Tadatoshi, the mayor of Hiroshima states that "At a time when apathy and ignorance are common enemies, I applaud the walkers who are taking this action to expose the double standard of the Western states concerning weapons of mass-destruction. Of course, we cannot condone nuclear weapons in North-Korea, Iran or Iraq. But why should we tolerate nuclear weapons in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey or anywhere else?".

Pol D'Huyvetter, spokesperson for For Mother Earth, a member group of Friends of the Earth International declared: "This resolution is very good news for the many people who have participated in our disarmament campaign for many years. This resolution will help convince our government that they need to get rid of the NATO nuclear base at Kleine Brogel. This nuclear base is dark spot on the world map as the base has a capacity to store up to 20 US B61 nuclear bombs, each of which has a lethal power that exceeds the power of the Hiroshima bomb by up to 14 times. We need to ban these genocidal weapons as soon as possible with a global treaty. Unfortunately the U.S. is very strongly opposed to such a treaty. But even without the U.S. we'll move forward as we prove again today, and as we are doing for the International Criminal Court, the Land Mine Treaty or the Kyoto Protocol. One day they'll have to join the global call for a world free of nuclear weapons."



Text resolution in French and Dutch: http://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/pdf/51/1545/51K1545007.pdf

More information: www.motherearth.org

Press contacts:

Dirk Vander Maelen +32-475-74 59 31
Pol D'Huyvetter +32-495-28 02 59



For Mother Earth - Voor Moeder Aarde vzw
member of Friends of the Earth International

K. Maria Hendrikaplein 5
9000 Gent - Belgium
Phone +32-9-242 87 52 or 04
Mobile +32-495-28 02 59
Fax +32-9-242 87 51
pol@motherearth.org
www.motherearth.org

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For more information: Text resolution House

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Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International