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Merkel calls for better laws on nuclear material

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DDP/The Local - [email protected]
Merkel calls for better laws on nuclear material
Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for better legal instruments to ensure the security of nuclear materials and prevent the construction of so-called dirty bombs at a summit in Washington, DC on Monday night.

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“International legal security” is imperative, said the chancellor at the end of the first day of high-profile international gathering. She also took a moment to praise host US President Barack Obama for his work toward nuclear disarmament.

The 47 world leaders at the event were working to “comprehensively improve the security of nuclear weapons and thereby find the right answers to the threats of the 21st century,” she said.

Following the end of the Cold War, deterrent strategies should include asymmetric war, she added, saying such things as weak radioactive waste from hospitals should also be included as potential dangers.

Merkel said that the threat of terrorists getting hold of nuclear materials was not fictitious.

“This exposes the fact that no legal mechanisms exist for this question,” she said.

Merkel plans to take part in a second day of talks at the summit on Tuesday, followed by a bilateral meeting with Obama in the evening. The summit is a highlight in Obama’s new more restrictive nuclear weapons policy, unveiled the first week of April.

After the summit Merkel will travel to California, stopping in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She plans to give a speech at Stanford University, and meet with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger before returning to Germany on Friday.

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