Barack Obama Hosts Unprecedented International Nuclear Summit
April 12, 2010: VOA News Editors / Voice Of America (VOA) – April 12, 2010
U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting a summit of 47 countries for unprecedented nuclear security talks aimed at developing a strategy to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists. The two-day conference in Washington opens later Monday, and is the largest gathering of world leaders hosted by the U.S. in more than six decades.
Ahead of the start of the meeting, President Obama held separate talks with King Abdullah of Jordan and the prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. Later in the day, he meets with the presidents of Ukraine, Armenia and China. Before leaving for Washington, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he plans to urge the delegates to immediately begin negotiations on a treaty to ban fissile materials for nuclear weapons. Mr. Ban said he will also urge leaders at the summit to convene on the matter at the United Nations in September.
President Obama says the possibility of terrorists obtaining a nuclear weapon is the “single biggest threat” to U.S. security. Mr. Obama told reporters Sunday that terrorist groups like al-Qaida are trying to secure nuclear weapons, and if they succeed it could change the global security landscape for years to come. He said terrorists would not hesitate to use those weapons.
Mr. Obama hopes to enlist other nations to help secure all loose nuclear materials — items that could cause harm if they fell into the hands of terrorists — within four years. North Korea, Iran, and Syria, much criticized by the West for their suspected nuclear agendas, were not invited to the summit.
On Sunday, President Obama met separately with leaders from nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, as well as from Kazakhstan and South Africa — two countries he said have helped in the effort to restrain the spread of nuclear weapons.
The White House says Mr. Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Tuesday, just a week after Turkey returned its ambassador to Washington. The ambassador was recalled to protest a vote by a U.S. congressional committee on a resolution that calls the World War One-era killing of Armenians a “genocide.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled plans to attend the summit, sending the country’s atomic energy minister instead, because of concerns that Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons program would become a central topic. Turkey’s prime minister said Sunday the world is turning a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear program, and he vowed to raise the issue.
The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: (Ahem) The “single biggest threat” to the American people is the United States government itself… – SJH
Link to original article below…
Written by Steven John Hibbs
April 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm
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