Friday, March 27, 2009

International leaders urge Obama to back nuke ban

President Barack Obama's first meeting next week with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is a historic opportunity to set a course for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, a group of some 100 international leaders said Thursday.

Obama and Medvedev, who will meet in London on the eve of a summit on the world economic crisis, should begin by agreeing on dramatic reductions of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, the Global Zero group said in a letter delivered to the White House.

The group includes former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., former U.S. negotiator Richard Burt, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering and former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.