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Turkey Announces Full Destruction of Mine Stockpiles

According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 156 countries have signed an international mine ban and 108 have signed a convention against cluster munitions.

Representatives of Turkey said Thursday the country had completed the destruction of its anti-personnel mines, fulfilling a major obligation to an international mine ban.

Turkey and some 158 other countries are meeting in Phnom Penh this week at the 11th meeting of signatories to the so-called Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of landmines.

“The destruction of these mines is fully completed,” said Serhan Yigit, the head of arms control at the Turkish foreign ministry.

Cambodian efforts more than a decade ago helped lead the way for the Ottawa Treaty, which later won the Nobel Peace Prize. Delegates are meeting in Phnom Penh in an effort to get more countries to sign the ban.

“Cambodia is seeking to globalize this convention among Asean members, as well as the world, to make sure that more states will become parties and completely stop the suffering and danger caused by anti-personnel mines,” Leng Sochea, deputy secretary-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority, told VOA Khmer.