KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon/Marianas Variety, Jan. 2) - Palau intends to sign the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemicals Weapons Convention that aim to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

Presidential Chief of Staff Billy Kuartei said the government is in the process of signing the agreements.

President Tommy Remengesau said the United States believes that increasing the number of signatories will strengthen the ban against biological and chemical weapons and increase international security against weapons of mass destruction.

The Biological Weapons Convention establishes a global ban on germ weapons, prohibiting the development, production and stockpiling of biological or microbial agents for hostile purposes.

The Biological Weapons Convention was created in 1975 and currently has 146 signatories.

The Chemicals Weapons Convention establishes a similar ban on the development, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. It has 147 signatories.

Remengesau said it is important for Palau to be included in both treaties.

In the Pacific region, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Philippines are among the signatories of the treaties.

January 2, 2002

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