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Obama to hold flurry of talks at nuclear summit

world Updated: Apr 07, 2010 00:40 IST

US President Barack Obama will hold a flurry of meetings with other world leaders during next week's nuclear security summit in Washington, seeking progress across a broad range of issues.

The US leader has no plans however to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the summit in Washington, following the Israeli leader's acrimonious visit to the US capital last month.

Obama will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and Jordan's King Abdullah II, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

There will also be talks with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia, Malaysian Premier Najib Razak and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Gibbs said the summit, which Obama hopes will produce a commitment to secure all loose nuclear material across the globe within four years, would include 47 nations, including the United States.

One world leader who will not be in Washington for the April 12 and 13 summit is British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who called a general election on Tuesday and will be in the thick of campaigning.

Gibbs said the line-up of meetings between Obama and world leaders was dictated largely by the president's recent schedule, and the list of some heads of government whom he has yet to meet.

Many of the meetings would focus on Obama's goal of halting nuclear proliferation, but others would concentrate on broader foreign policy goals, Gibbs said.

He noted that Obama hosted French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week at the White House, and said the reason that
Netanyahu would not meet Obama was because of their recent talks.

Netanyahu returned home after that visit to a tide of derision in the Israeli press, with a showdown over Jewish settlement construction unresolved amid some of the most open hostility in US-Israeli relations in years.