Monday, April 12, 2010

FP morning post 4/12

Nuclear summit opens in Washington

Top news: Leaders from 46 nations have come to Washington D.C. for a summit focused on securing nuclear weapons. The meeting is being hailed as the largest of its kind since the 1945 summit to create the United Nations. President Barack Obama is hoping that the talks will lead to the beginning of a concerted global effort to "lock down" existing stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium and prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists.

"Our biggest concerns right now are actually the issues of nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation: more countries obtaining nuclear weapons; those weapons being less controllable, less secure; nuclear materials floating around the globe," Obama said in Prague on Thursday.

With talks focused on this relatively narrow goal, a number of more contentious issues are being purposefully left off the agenda. These include the escalating nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also chosen not to attend the conference out of concern that Arab nations will bring up the issue Israel's nuclear weapons program.

By focusing the summit on a relatively narrow issue, Obama hopes to reach concrete commitments at the meeting, rather than a "vague, gauzy statement."

“We anticipate a communiqué that spells out very clearly, here’s how we’re going to achieve locking down all the nuclear materials over the next four years, with very specific steps in order to assure that,” he said.

Poland: Poles gathered in Warsaw to pay tribute to President Lech Kaczysnki and the other top officials killed in a plane crash on their way back from Russia on Saturday. Kaczynski's body will lie in state until Tuesday.

Investigators are now looking into why the pilot of the plane did not heed the instructions of air traffic controllers who urged him not to attempt to land in bad weather.

  • Deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev rallied supporters in southern Kyrgyzstan as the interim government in Bishkek announced plans to arrest him.
  • Suicide bombers attempted to seize the intelligence headquarters in Kandahar. Four civilians were also killed in a shooting by international troops in Kandahar.
  • The death toll in Thailand's anti-government protests has risen to 21 as the "red-shirts" continued to occupy central Bangkok and seized military vehicles.
  • Pakistani security forces killed at least 40 Taliban fighters in a counteroffensive the Orakzai region.
  • European officials have agreed on a $40 billion bailout program for Greece.
  • A car bomb set by IRA dissidents went off outside the Belfast office of MI5 but caused no injuries.
  • Hungary's center-right Fidesz party won an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections.
Middle East
  • Yemen said it is attempting to detain U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
  • Kuwait deported 21 followers of Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's alliance alleged fraud in the recent parliamentary elections.
  • Cuban police have barred the dissident group "Ladies in White" from marching.
  • Haitian officials began moving people from the Petionville tent city to a new resettlement camp in anticipation of the rainy season.
  • Chile has given the last of its weapons-grade uranium to the United States.
-By Joshua Keating

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

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