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Disarmament Advocates Urge Obama, Medvedev to Make Nuclear Cuts

A group of international statesmen yesterday urged U.S. President Barack Obama to set a "new course" for nuclear disarmament when he speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev next week, the Associated Press reported. The leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time on the sidelines of a global economic summit in London (see GSN, March 20).

"We are urging the two presidents to seize this historic opportunity to confront the most urgent security threat to our world: the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the related risk of nuclear terrorism," said former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) on behalf of Global Zero, a new group of 100 former international officials who are promoting complete nuclear abolition (see GSN, Dec. 9, 2008). The group delivered a letter to the White House yesterday.

"The two leaders can move beyond traditional arms control and, in a bold move, set the world on a course toward the total elimination of all nuclear weapons -- global zero," Hagel said.

"This will not happen quickly, easily and unilaterally," he added. "Getting to global zero will require the reduction of all nations' nuclear arsenals over many years. It is important to begin now, and set the world on a new course" (Barry Schweid, Associated Press/Google News, March 26).

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