In Asia, Obama pushing arms control with Russians

SINGAPORE (AP) — A major pact within tantalizing reach, President Barack Obama aims to nudge forward an arms-control deal in talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum brought Obama to Singapore, but he is focusing on individual meetings Sunday with Medvedev and with Indonesia's Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of the world's largest Muslim nation and Obama's home as a boy. The U.S.-Russia meeting takes place as the nations seek a successor to a Cold War-era agreement.

Obama also planned another milestone: joining a larger meeting that includes the leader of military-ruled Myanmar. Obama is sure to face criticism at home, particularly from conservatives, for doing so — a significant step up in his administration's new policy of “pragmatic engagement” that is a shift from years of U.S. isolation and sanctions.

Obama and Medvedev agreed in April to reach a new nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty 1 before it expires on Dec. 5. Later, in Moscow in July, they agreed further to cut the number of nuclear warheads each nation possesses to between 1,500 and 1,675 within seven years.

U.S. officials say that the two nations now have agreed on the broad outlines of a new treaty, with the expectation that the leaders will sign one during Obama's travels to Europe in early December to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

Such an agreement would be a big feather in Obama's cap and bragging rights toward his promise to work toward a nuclear-free world, offering momentum for other arms-control and nonproliferation efforts. The president has been hinting at his optimism on the issue leading up to and during his Asia trip.

“We are already taking steps to bring down our nuclear stockpiles in cooperation with the Russian government,” he said during a news conference in Japan with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

A new treaty also could boost relations with Russia at a time that Washington is looking for its cooperation on issues including reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Negotiators already have worked through a number of contentious issues and agreed on the number of warheads, the number of delivery systems and what will count as a delivery system, officials said.

The remaining issues in negotiations involve procedures for the two countries to verify that the other side is meeting the terms of the treaty, two administration officials said speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
 

US

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

San Francisco supervisors could be poised to approve legislation that would allocate… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

A Muni historic streetcar takes a test drive on Embarcadero near the Ferry Building on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrate after Mostert scores his fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
49ers on prime-time TV five times in 2021

Usually a team that finishes in last place and won only six… Continue reading

Most Read