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Updated: April 4, 2010 22:02 IST

Manmohan to attend nuclear security summit

Special Correspondent
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A file photo
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A file photo

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend a global meeting in Washington convened by U.S. President Barack Obama next week aimed at strengthening national measures on protecting nuclear material and combating their trafficking.

The initiative, while adhering to multilateral instruments and norms, would help in the expanded use of civil nuclear energy, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told newspersons here on Sunday.

The two-day summit beginning on April 12 would not be country-specific but would be aimed at eliminating clandestine proliferation and trafficking in nuclear weapons and material.

Asked why Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were not invited and if the issue was raised during the two preparatory conferences, Ms. Rao said discussions were held in the “global context.” She described Iran as a responsible country in the region with which India had substantive relations.

India was closely involved in the run-up to the meet for the past six months due to its concern over the possibility of terrorist groups acquiring nuclear devices and material. “Since 2002, we have been piloting a resolution at the U.N. on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. We are also active in working with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] on setting and enforcing standards on protection of nuclear material and facilities as well as on combating illicit trafficking in nuclear material,” she said.

The Prime Minister will reach Washington on April 12 and attend a dinner hosted by Mr. Obama where leaders from 43 countries and organisations will discuss the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Two plenary sessions will be held the next day on national measures and international cooperation to enhance nuclear security. A working lunch will be addressed by IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano. The summit will conclude after issuing an outcome document.

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