Nancy Pelosi
Pulling the US out of yet another arms control treaty undermines our national security and makes for a more dangerous world, says Nancy Pelosi. Image Credit: AFP

United Nations/Beijing: Continuing Washington’s drift from multilateralism, US President Donald Trump has announced that he was withdrawing the country from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

At a meeting of the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis on Friday, he dramatically pulled out a letter for ending US participation in the treaty and signed it on stage to a standing ovation by the audience of weapons control opponents.

He called the ATT “badly conceived” and said: “The UN will get notice that we are formally rejecting this treaty.”

The US signed the treaty in 2013 but has not ratified it. Trump said that he was withdrawing it also from the Senate.

Advancing his America First policy, he has already withdrawn the US from Unesco, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INFT), which bans nuclear-tipped missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500km, and the agreement on denuclearising Iran that was made by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Tehran.

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013, the ATT covers all types of weapons and seeks to stop them from reaching regimes abusing human rights or parties in civil wars, armed and terrorist groups.

Democrats denounced Trump’s decision.

“Pulling the US out of yet another arms control treaty undermines our national security and makes for a more dangerous world,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted.

Meanwhile, a Kremlin spokesman said on Saturday that Trump’s proposals is “not serious”.

“It would be ideal to clean up the whole world from the nuclear weapon; but on the other hand we would have been deprived from the deterrent factor,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters on the sidelines of a summit on China’s Belt and Road plan. “Don’t forget about the deterrent factor, about the deterrent parity,” he said.

Peskov also said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held substantial talks and exchanged views on Syria, Venezuela and Libya when they met on Friday.

— IANS, Reuters