Senior Foreign Policy Figures Endorse Obama Vision for Nuclear-Free World
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama held an Oval Office meeting today with four of the nation's foreign policy wise men, who endorsed his administration's vision for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Obama, who laid his vision out in a speech in Prague early last month, embraced the endorsement after meeting with former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.).
"I don't think anybody would accuse these four gentlemen of being dreamers," Obama told reporters after the meeting with the bipartisan group. "They're hard-headed, tough defenders of American interests and American security. But what they have come together to help galvanize is a recognition that we do not want a world of continued nuclear proliferation, and that in order for us to meet the security challenges of the future, America has to take leadership in this area."
Obama said the need to limit the spread of nuclear weapons is underscored by the growing global threat: nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, substantial stockpiles in India and Pakistan and efforts by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to acquire nuclear materials.
Obama said his administration wants to revitalize the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, work to reduce current stockpiles and to do more to "lock down" loose nuclear weapons.
"All four of us support enthusiastically what the president is doing," Shultz said after Obama spoke.
Posted at 4:50 PM ET on May 19, 2009
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