We Want Seat at the UN's Nuclear Talks, Says Salmond; Summit Demand: Alex Salmond Says SNP Has a Right to Be Part of Nuclear Negotiations at the UN in New York

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Byline: Simon Johnson

SCOTLAND should be given a seat in talks at the United Nations onridding the world of nuclear weapons, according to the First Minister.

Alex Salmond has written to representatives of the 189 countries who havesigned the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including Iran and Zimbabwe.

Despite foreign affairs being reserved to Westminster, he has asked that theScottish Executive be involved in future discussions.

Mr Salmond wants Scotland to be granted observer status at the next NPT meetingin the spring.

But UK ministers reacted with fury last night, accusing him of underminingBritish foreign policy and making common cause with hostile nations.

Mr Salmond was also accused of arrogantly trying to strut the world stageinstead of focusing on matters within his remit, such as health and education.

The First Minister has already drawn up plans for a series of Scottish'embassies' and announced a doubling of Scotland's international aid budget,despite the matter being reserved to Westminster.

But the Executive remained unrepentant, insisting that as Britain's nucleararsenal is based in Scotland, it has a right to express its view.

The SNP accused the Government of breaking the treaty by pressing ahead withplans to

Prescription renew the fleet of Trident nuclear submarines at a cost of atleast [pounds sterling]20billion. …