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Three More Countries Seen Close to Joining Chemical-Arms Ban

Angola, Myanmar and South Sudan appear poised to join the global treaty that bans chemical weapons, Agence France-Presse reports.

The three states "are very close" to joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, said Ahmet Üzümcü, who leads the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the implementing body of the treaty.

The nations are among a group of six states that remain alone in the world in not ratifying the accord, which prohibits the production, stockpiling and use of such chemical warfare agents as sarin nerve agent and mustard blister gas.

The other holdout countries -- Egypt, Israel and North Korea -- "have other concerns," possibly having to do with "regional reasons" for not joining the convention, Üzümcü said in Oslo at a meeting with Norwegian lawmakers.

On Tuesday, the OPCW director general officially accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of his organization. Üzümcü used the high-profile event to urge the six holdout nations to join the CWC agreement.

Myanmar and Israel have both signed but not ratified the treaty.

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