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World: Landmine Agreement Adopted

Oslo, 18 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Delegates to multinational talks in Oslo today formally adopted an agreement banning landmines.

The text was adopted by delegates from about 100 countries and is due to be formally signed in Ottawa, Canada, in December.

Several of the world's most powerful countries, however, have rejected the document.

U.S. President Bill Clinton has said the agreement banning landmines would expose U.S. forces to unacceptable risks. Washington has said that it will take its own steps toward eradicating landmines.

Russia, India and China did not attend the conference.

The treaty is aimed at banning the use, sale, and stockpiling of landmines which are reported to kill or injure some 26,000 people a year. Most of the casualties are civilians in countries struggling to rebuild following wars.