US to skip cluster bomb meeting in Dublin, focus on Geneva talks

The United States will skip a meeting in Dublin next month that aims to ban the use of cluster bombs, officials said Friday. Instead, Washington will focus on separate United Nations talks in Geneva which aim to draft nonbinding guidelines for the use of cluster bombs, the head of the US delegation said. US State Department legal adviser Stephen Mathias told reporters that "We don't accept for a moment that the only game in town is the Oslo Process." He was referring to the name given to the breakaway talks organized by countries that are frustrated with the pace of UN negotiations. More than 100 countries are expected to meet May 19-30 in Dublin, where they will try to forge a final agreement on banning a weapon they consider a serious threat to civilians.