Obama: Nuke summit 'impressive'

April 12, 2010 at 5:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday the nuclear security summit in Washington was "impressive."

The president came out of the Oval Office in between bilateral meetings with other world leaders and was asked by waiting pool reporters his thoughts on the international gathering on nuclear arms.

"It's impressive," Obama said. "I think it's an indication of how deeply concerned everybody should be with the possibilities of nuclear traffic, and I think at the end of this we're going to see some very specific, concrete actions that each nation is taking that will make the world a little bit safer."

One solid action came from Ukraine, which promised Monday to get rid of its supply of highly enriched uranium by the next summit two years from now.

Earlier, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told foreign leaders and dignitaries assembled in Washington Monday a nuclear weapons-free world is an achievable goal.

The vice president told the luncheon gathering the United States "is committed to reducing the number of nuclear weapons in our arsenal and reducing their role in our defense." He cited the START treaty signed by the United States and Russia last week as a concrete step toward that commitment.

Biden went on to say Obama "has committed our country to seek peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

He also said he hoped the representatives of more than 40 nations assembled for the nuclear summit can agree "controlling all nuclear materials that can produce a bomb is in the interest of every one of us gathered around this table and everyone in the world."

"As world leaders, we all know that there are extremist groups and non-state actors seeking that capability right now, seeking to gain access to nuclear materials to make a nuclear bomb," Biden said.

Obama spent the day conducting separate bilateral meetings with the leaders of several countries, including Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Forty-six countries, the United Nations, the European Council and the International Atomic Energy Commission gathered in Washington to discuss ways to secure vulnerable nuclear material worldwide, the White House said.

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