Al Qaeda’s efforts to acquire atomic weapons poses the biggest threat to global security – that is according to President Barack Obama, speaking on the eve of today’s nuclear summit.
The unprecedented 47-nation gathering in Washington, hosted by Obama, has among its aims, the goal of keeping tabs on loose nuclear material worldwide.
But there are other more regional based concerns; at pre-summit talks, the US leader met with prime ministers of nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan. The former wants restrictions imposed on Islamabad’s nuclear programme citing a threat from the Taliban insurgency.
Fresh from his success after last week’s signing of the “New” Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, Obama will also want to get Moscow support on his policy towards Iran.
Although not on the summit agenda, the US-led push for new sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities will be at the back of many minds.
Iran’s leadership has already lambasted Washington for staging the summit
And while Obama wants a strong and unified international response to Iran, many other countries such as China are equally sensitive to intrusions into their own nuclear programmes.