US Hopes Summit Will Endorse Obama Approach to Check N-Terrorism

Washington, Apr 8 (IANS): The United States hopes next week's Nuclear Security Summit here will endorse President Barack Obama's approach to prevent nuclear terrorism given a "very strong international consensus" on the issue.

"I think there's likely to be a very strong international consensus to prevent nuclear terrorism and to make sure that physical security measures throughout the world are very strong," James N Miller, Principal Deputy Secretary of Defence for Policy, told reporters Wednesday.

President Obama has set the goal of securing all potentially vulnerable nuclear materials for four years, and we're hoping that this summit meeting will endorse that approach," he said.

The consensus view is expected to be reflected in the "outcome statement" to be issued at at the end of the April 12-13 summit, which would bring together world leaders from 47 nations, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The purpose will be to raise international consciousness about the threat of nuclear terrorism, and to encourage all countries to accept responsibility for taking practical steps to reduce the likelihood that terrorists will get their hands on nuclear materials and be able to build a bomb.

As such the world leaders participating at the summit will be talking about a variety of nuclear security measures that each of them can take within their own countries to prevent theft or seizure of nuclear materials and prevent transit, smuggling of nuclear materials through their territories, Miller said.

Another top Obama non-proliferation aide said the summit "will focus on nuclear security, the threat of nuclear terrorism and how to secure materials on one's territory, in transit, to prevent terrorists from getting hold of those materials or those weapons."

"The joint statement will express the commitment of the leaders to do whatever they can to strengthen nuclear security," said Robert J Einhorn, Special US Advisor on Non Proliferation and Arms Control.

To address the energy needs of countries like Pakistan, he said "The Obama administration has favoured new international civil nuclear-energy architecture, an architecture that allows countries around the world to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy without increasing proliferation risks."

"Ideas have been put forward, like fuel-supply assurances, international fuel banks. These are designed to give countries more options, to give them more access to the nuclear fuels they need to run a nuclear-energy programme, a nuclear-power programme. We have supported these international fuel banks to do that," Einhorn said.

However, this would not be the focus of the nuclear Summit next week. "This issue will come up at the May NPT Review Conference, but this is not the focus of next week."




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