Monday, April 6, 2009

Response to Obama Prague Speech: All Nuclear Powers Should Commit to Multi-Lateral Negotiations for Elimination of All Nuclear Weapons

Political, Military Leaders From China, India, Pakistan, and Britain Respond to Obama Prague Speech: All Nuclear Powers Should Commit to Multi-Lateral Negotiations for Elimination of All Nuclear Weapons

/PRNewswire / -- Political and military leaders at the forefront of the Global Zero initiative, a nonpartisan international effort to achieve a phased, verifiable plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide, immediately expressed support for President Obama's Prague speech and the newly announced U.S.-Russian effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, and called on their own governments to commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations for an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide. In his speech yesterday, President Obama said he will "seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor."

Air Chief Marshal (ret.) Shashindra Pal Tyagi, former Indian Air Force Chief "India has always supported the vision of a nuclear weapons free world. Now that the leaders of the U.S. and Russia have declared their desire to achieve Global Zero, India needs to actively support the movement and participate in a multi-national initiative to ensure a phased, verifiable and time-bound program to eliminate all nuclear weapons."

K. Shankar Bajpai, former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India "The US-Russia summit commitment to achieving Global Zero is as heartening as it is vital. These are the two powers who must set, not just the pace, but the example we can and must all follow. To be clear, Global Zero does not rest with partial disarmament: all states must abandon all nuclear weapons. I am privileged to be among those supporting this vital cause and to join in urging all states, not least my own, to follow up on the US-Russian statement, swiftly and constructively."

Gen. (Ret.) Jehangir Karamat, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pakistan "The Obama-Medvedev declaration is a very real and tangible step towards reduction of nuclear weapons and transcends regional and other concerns. Pakistan should, and I am sure will, be supportive of this initiative."

Maj. Gen. (retired) Peng Guangqian, Chinese Defense Analyst "Elimination of all nuclear weapons globally is a long process, but most importantly, the U.S. and Russia have taken the first step. China always advocates a complete ban and ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons. As a country with nuclear weapons, China has demonstrated that it will not avoid the responsibility and obligation in nuclear disarmament."

Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom "It is critical that all of the other nuclear powers commit now to participating in multi-lateral negotiations on an agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons worldwide - Global Zero. Getting to Global Zero will require the phased and verified reduction of all nations' nuclear arsenals over many years. It is urgent that we begin now."

Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Senator "The launch of the North Korean missile - in addition to demanding the aggressive pursuit of the six-party talks - should be viewed as an urgent call for the leaders of all the nuclear countries to support Presidents Obama's and Medvedev's bold and historic effort to achieve the only real and lasting solution to proliferation and nuclear terrorism: the elimination of all nuclear weapons - Global Zero."

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