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Monday, May 18, 1998 Published at 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK

UN appeal to stop arms race

Kofi Annan, right, talks with Pakistan's UN representative Ahmad Kamal on Friday

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has appealed to Pakistan not to follow India in testing nuclear weapons.

Kofi Annan said he hoped other nations would support Pakistan, by offering assurances on its security.

He also expressed hope that India would sign two main international treaties limiting nuclear weapons - the Non-proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

[ image: Bill Clinton said the possible escalation was a
Bill Clinton said the possible escalation was a "nutty way to go"
In Britain, world leaders gathered at the G8 summit warned of the prospect of a new nuclear arms race. They condemned India's actions in the final communique of the annual summit.

Mr Annan said heads of state around the world were appealing to Pakistan not to follow India's example.

"I hope that down the line some heads of state would also discuss security arrangements that may assure Pakistan of its own security so that it doesn't have to get into a tit-for-tat situation," he said.

[ image: Tony Blair expressed a
Tony Blair expressed a "sense of frustration"
Earlier, the US President Bill Clinton said for Pakistan to respond, as its has threatened to do, would be "a nutty way to go".

But the G8 leaders, with whom he spent the weekend, failed to agree on a proposal, by the US, Canada and Japan, to impose sanctions of India.

"The answer is not for India to become a nuclear power, and then for Pakistan to match it stride for stride, and then for China to be brought in ... and for Russia to come in and to recreate in a different context the conflicts of the cold war," Mr Clinton said in a BBC interview.

[ image: The G8 communique condemned India]
The G8 communique condemned India
The British Prime Minister Tony Blair described his own "sense of frustration" at Pakistan's threats and said India's actions had gravely weakened world security.

"It is important that India realise the huge international concern that having done these tests now they come within the test ban treaty process," said Mr Blair.

But Britain was joined by Russia, France, Germany and Italy in failing to back a programme of economic embargoes against India.

[ image: Unhappy: Jean Chretien]
Unhappy: Jean Chretien
"I don't think that we would have achieved anything with the announcement of sanctions," said the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl..

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien left still unhappy about the failure to agree to sanctions against India

"The position of Canada has been we should have gone much farther," he said.

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