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Obama to Call for New Anti-Nuke Treaty with Russia


U.S. President Barack Obama is set to propose to European leaders strong new measures to reduce and eventually eliminate the world's existing nuclear arsenals.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather at a square near Prague Castle in the Czech Republic Sunday to hear the U.S. president present his vision for the future.

A fact sheet released by the White House says Mr. Obama will propose a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia by the end of the year. He is also expected to announce plans to push the U.S. Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The White House says the president will also seek to negotiate a new international treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and that will include China, India and Pakistan.

The president's aides say the speech will lay out a "very comprehensive framework" on how major powers can eliminate their nuclear arsenals, while deterring other countries from seeking to develop nuclear weapons of their own.

Security has been tight in Prague ahead of the speech, with thousands of police and soldiers deployed around the city.

Despite a ban on protests, demonstrators have planned a number of rallies for Sunday. About 300 opponents of a planned U.S. missile defense radar base in the Czech Republic protested Saturday.

The Czech Republic currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, and opinion polls suggest many Czechs fear the radar could create tensions with Russia and more insecurity in Europe.

In addition to his speech, Mr. Obama is also scheduled to meet with key European leaders Sunday to discuss the economic crisis and climate change.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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