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.

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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