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White House To Push Chemical Weapons Ban

Compiled From Wire Services

Facing stiffening Republican opposition to a treaty banning chemical weapons, Clinton administration officials Tuesday promised a vigorous campaign to ratify the pact, with appeals for a bipartisan foreign policy made by none other than their new Republican secretary of defense, William Cohen.

The prospects for a two-thirds Senate ratification vote this year hit a skid when Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated on Monday that he would do all he could to stall the ban from clearing his panel. But administration officials said Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Republican Senate leader, could still be persuaded to overrule Helms, back the treaty and push its ratification.

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