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Experts Address Implementation of U.S.-Russian MANPAD Pact

April 24, 2006

Bilateral agreement calls for cooperation on keeping weapons from terrorists

A joint statement on U.S.-Russian cooperation on enhancing control of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) was released by the Department of State April 21.

The statement expressed satisfaction with the results of an "expert-level" meeting held April 19-21 in Washington to discuss implementation of a bilateral agreement and ongoing support of both nations' "common goal of combating the illicit proliferation of MANPADS" -- shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missilesaccording to the statement.

Specifically, the delegations discussed the results of the second bilateral exchange of information on the transfer of MANPADS to third countries and ways to eliminate MANPADS from black markets. They also exchanged information on destruction practices and stockpile security and management practices.

The meeting was the second in a series planned to help implement the agreement. The first was held in Moscow in December 2005; the third will be held later in 2006 or early in 2007, according to the statement.

The U.S.-Russia Arrangement on Cooperation in Enhancing Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems was signed in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, during a visit by President Bush that included a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (See related article (http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Feb/24-885945.html).)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov signed the agreement February 24, 2005. It provides a bilateral framework for cooperation in the control of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles that could threaten global aviation if obtained by criminals, terrorists or other nonstate actors. (See fact sheet (http://usinfo.state.gov/eur/Archive/2005/Feb/24-479502.html).)

In congressional testimony in February, Robert Joseph, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, said that MANPADS pose a specific threat to aviation and that the departments of State and Defense are making concerted efforts to prevent such weapons from reaching the hands of terrorists. (See related article (http://usinfo.state.gov/is/Archive/2006/Feb/10-833574.html).)

Following is the media note:

(begin text)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
April 21, 2006

Media Note
Joint United States-Russian Federation Statement on the U.S.-Russia MANPADS Arrangement on Cooperation in Enhancing Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems

Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States and the Russian Federation at the conclusion of the Second Expert-Level Meeting.

BEGIN TEXT:
Delegations from the United States and the Russian Federation met on April 19-21, 2006 in Washington to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Russia MANPADS Arrangement on Cooperation in Enhancing Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). This meeting was the second in a series of expert-level meetings intended to facilitate the implementation of the Arrangement, which supports our common goal of combating the illicit proliferation of MANPADS systems which pose a serious threat to civil aviation, especially in the hands of terrorists. The first meeting took place December 1-2, 2005 in Moscow. The delegation discussed the results of our second bilateral exchange of information on the transfer of MANPADS to third countries; they discussed eliminating MANPADS from black markets; and they exchanged information on destruction practices and stockpile security and management practices. The sides expressed satisfaction with the results of the work accomplished and look forward to their next meeting possibly in late 2006 or early 2007.
END TEXT.
(end text)

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