News / USA

    President Obama Calls Nuclear Security Summit Day of Great Progress

    President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, 13 Apr 2010
    President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, 13 Apr 2010

    Multimedia

    President Barack Obama says the nuclear security summit in Washington earlier this week represented a "day of great progress" and part of a larger effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But some nuclear security experts say more attention should have been paid to the threat that terrorists pose to the mounting nuclear stockpiles in India and Pakistan.  

    President Obama met with the leaders of India and Pakistan one day ahead of the summit that focused on how to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists.

    Later at the summit he called for better nuclear security programs.

    "I feel confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons programs," said President Obama. "But that doesn't mean that there isn't improvement to make in all of our nuclear security programs."

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country still has concerns about the potential proliferation of nuclear arms in  Pakistan.

    "We have been voicing our concerns with regard to the proliferation, the clandestine activities of trafficking," said Prime Minister Singh.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani says his country's nuclear weapons are well-guarded. But Pakistan has had a tarnished reputation since scientist A.Q. Khan's sale in 2004 of nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.  And a new study at Harvard University finds that Pakistan's small but growing stockpile is the world's least secure from theft or attack.

    Arif Rafiq is a long time observer of the Pakistani scene:

    "The perception of the nuclear proliferation that began in the 1990s and continued into the early 2000's still exists," said Arif Rafiq. "Pakistan's nuclear weapons are a source of concern for governments across the world because of the instability there and also because of the history of proliferation."

    Some experts say the risk is made worse due to the continued development of nuclear materials, and the increase of terrorist activities in South Asia.

    Marvin Weinbaum is an analyst at the Middle East Institute:

    "Our concern here is that if Pakistan becomes destabilized, if the military reflects this destabilization, that this would present the greatest threat," said Marvin Weinbaum. "There is always a possibility of rogue elements and this is also a matter of some concern as well."

    Weinbaum says India and Pakistan could have gotten more attention at the summit, but that would have changed the main focus of the meeting.

    "[They] would have served as a distraction from what is the main purpose and that is to build a coalition of forces to act in unity in trying to prevent Iran from moving further in its nuclear program," he said.

    Experts say at a time when the Obama administration is trying to improve relations with both South Asian countries, it would have been a difficult balancing act to discuss the U.S. concerns about their mounting nuclear stockpiles . They say it might be the main focus at the next summit in two years.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora