The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) welcomes the pledge by State Department officials on Friday that the United States will no longer manufacture or purchase land mines, and will “diligently pursu(e) solutions that would be compliant with and that would ultimately allow the United States to accede to the Ottawa Convention.”

“This is a long overdue step,” said Leith Anderson, NAE President. “The Obama administration should quickly finalize its review of the treaty, a process that has already taken nearly five years.”

Despite expensive mine clearing operations, to which the United States contributes generously, land mines continue to kill and maim innocent civilians long after wars have ended. The United States has alternative military strategies, and has observed a de facto moratorium on the use of land mines since 1991.

“A world in which the manufacture, sale and use of land mines, like chemical weapons, is universally banned will be safer for U.S. service members as well as for civilians around the world,” Anderson said.