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Obama Pledges to Seek World Without Nuclear Arms

By VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama says he soon will lay out an agenda to seek a world without nuclear weapons.

Speaking to students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, Mr. Obama said the spread of nuclear weapons could lead to the extermination of any city on the planet. He said he will outline his proposals in Prague Sunday.

Earlier French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Wednesday's announcement by President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev on plans to resume talks on extending a treaty limiting long-range nuclear arms.

Mr. Obama stressed the importance of dialogue with Russia. But he repeated his criticism of Moscow's military sweep into Georgia last year. He also stressed the importance of preserving the autonomy of all European countries.

Mr. Obama traveled to Strasbourg ahead of Friday's opening of a two-day NATO summit.

The French leader gave strong backing to Mr. Obama's new policy in Afghanistan, pledging to help that country in police training and reconstruction.

Both men also noted the importance of preventing Iran from developing nuclear arms and convincing North Korea to stop its impending missile launch.

Mr. Sarkozy announced that his country will accept a prisoner from Guantanamo Bay and praised Mr. Obama's decision to close the terrorist detention facility.

The NATO summit, taking place in France and Germany marks the 60th anniversary of the alliance.

Ahead of the summit, Mr. Obama also meets in Germany Friday with Chancellor Angela Merkel

The gathering marks the debut of Albania and Croatia on the NATO stage, after they joined the alliance earlier this week.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

... Payvand News - 04/03/09 ... --

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