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Obama Administration Hosts Nuclear Security Summit

The Obama Administration is hosting a two-day summit on nuclear security beginning today in Washington, DC.  The summit is the largest meeting of world leaders since World War II and hopes to foster an international dialogue on controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and technology.  In particular, the administration has labeled the acquisition of nuclear material by a terrorist organization as “. . . the single biggest threat to U.S. security, both [sic] short term, medium term and long term . . . .”

At the onset of the summit, President Obama will meet with the leaders of the four other voting members of the UN Security Council to discuss Iranian sanctions and the countries current levels of uranium enrichment.  The summit takes place in the wake  renewed US-Russia bilateral agreements to reduce current stockpiles of nuclear weapons in both countries.  The administration has voiced particular concerns over the nuclear weapons and materials in the former Soviet block which are not currently safeguarded to international standards and will discuss increasing those safeguards during the two-day summit.  The summit will aim to shift the focus of safeguards from a bilateral concern to an international concern.

The nations participating in the summit include Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Vietnam.  The European Union, United Nations, and the International Atomic Energy Agency will also be represented.

The administration has moved nuclear security to the forefront of its international agenda and has been criticized as “too weak” by Republicans in light of the current situations with North Korea and Iran.  Additionally, Iran’s state news agency recently quoted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that the Obama administration “poses a threat to international peace” and is “wicked and untrustworthy.” For more information on the summit, click here, here, and here.


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