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Lavrov, Clinton to meet to discuss new arms control pact

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton share a light moment at their meeting in Geneva. Image credit: Fabrice Coffrini/pool photo.

MOSCOW (PTI): Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet here on October 13 to discuss a new nuclear weapons control pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which is expiring in December, officials said Saturday.

"The coordination of the article of the new draft agreement and its technical aspects was made by the working groups of experts.During their forthcoming meeting in Moscow on October 3 the two foreign ministers would be briefed about the outcome of the negotiations," the Russian foreign office said on its website in the wake of 'businesslike, constructive' sixth round of arms control negotiations held in Geneva on September 1- October 3.

Moscow and Washington have also agreed to continue work on modifying certain points of the treaty in mid-October, although it did not elaborate.

Russia remains the only nation in the world capable of physically destroying the sole superpower-the US with its nuclear weapons and President Barack Obama's decision to drop controversial missile shield plans in Central Europe have cleared the way for the new arms cut treaty to replace START-1 expiring on December 5.

During her maiden Moscow visit in the new capacity, Clinton is also expected to discuss US-Russian co-operation on non-proliferation and counter-terrorism, and next steps for the Clinton-Lavrov commission set up during President Obama's Moscow visit last July, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko had told reporters last week.

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