Sir: The election of Jacques Chirac as President of France today gives the green light to the resumption of French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. Mr Chirac gave de facto approval for a resumption of nuclear testing under his presidency in his campaigning. In this, the final week of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Mr Chirac must clarify France's position on nuclear testing.
The new French president still has a choice: flout international opinion, risk outrage from the nations of the Pacific, and derail the NPT and talks on a comprehensive test ban; or take a rational and long-awaited step toward nuclear disarmament.
The arrogance of the UK government in failing to live up to its obligations under the NPT has been evident throughout the negotiations in New York. The government can take a small step toward redemption: it can put pressure on the new French president to maintain the nuclear testing moratorium in the Pacific.
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