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Ajumogobia, Clinton parley on nuclear power

U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, met on Monday in New York for discussions on nuclear disarmament and other international issues.

Reports say that the bilateral meeting was held on the sideline of the ongoing UN review conference on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Details were not available, but it was learnt that the meeting, which lasted for about 25 minutes at the TIAA-CREFF building, centred largely on the NPT treaty.

A diplomatic source said that the U.S is seeking support of member-countries to ensure a world that is free of nuclear weapons, as well as expanded support for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The meeting, which took place two hours before Clinton delivered her remarks at the NPT conference, was attended by some senior Nigerian diplomats, including the Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Joy Ogwu, and the Ambassador to the U.S.,  Prof. Ade Adefuye.

In her speech at the conference, Clinton said Iran’s nuclear ambitions posed a risk to the entire world.

Clinton also said that the U.S. would disclose the number of weapons in its nuclear arsenal, a move, she said, was to improve transparency in the nuclear disarmament regime and encourage other nations to do same.

“Beginning today, the U.S. will make public the number of nuclear weapons in our stockpile and the number of weapons we have dismantled since 1991.

“So for those who doubt that the U.S. will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments and they send a clear unmistakable signal,” she said.

Later at a press stakeout with UN correspondents, the U.S. Secretary of State said strengthening the NPT required nations to stand-up and be counted as adhering to the rules and regulations guided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“That is what we are trying to achieve with out partners at the Security Council, with respect to Iran’s nuclear programme,’’ she said.

She said Iran was the only nation that was attending the NPT review conference that had “violated consistently, the obligations it signed up to follow, defied the international community and acted with impunity’’.

Clinton said the U.S. government was committed to ensuring that states without nuclear weapons promise not to acquire them while states with nuclear weapons work towards eliminating them.

She added that the U.S. government would also support peaceful use of nuclear programmes.

NAN reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran had earlier in his address at the conference, accused states with nuclear weapons of threatening those who wanted to develop peaceful nuclear technology.

His speech triggered a walkout by representatives of the U.S, U.K, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Hungary and a handful of other countries, excluding Nigeria.


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