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US offers Soviets a deal on chemical weapons ban

The United States said it is ready to halt its program of binary chemical weapons if the Soviet Union will agree to a long-stalled East-West treaty against chemical weapons.

US delegates to the 40-nation Geneva Disarmament Committee said ingredients in the new chemical ''cocktails,'' which become toxic by mixing two otherwise harmless chemicals, would be prohibited under the proposed chemical weapons ban.

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But Soviet delegates said the chemicals involved in binary weapons could be used as pesticides, opening the way to covert production and stockpiling.

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