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World leaders come together for nuclear summit

By Laurie Bennett

April 12, 2010 at 8:00am

The Nuclear Security Summit begins today, bringing to Washington the largest gathering of heads of state in 65 years.

While critics call Obama’s efforts naive, the president says global cooperation is crucial to efforts to identify and isolate bomb-making materials.

“If there was ever a detonation in New York City, or London, or Johannesburg, the ramifications economically, politically and from a security perspective would be devastating,” he said before meeting Sunday with South African President Jacob Zuma.

Forty-seven nations, along with the representatives of the European Union, the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency, are meeting Monday and Tuesday.

Two countries that are considered prime threats - Iran and North Korea - are not among the participants or on the agenda.

As The New York Times reports, “for all its symbolism and ceremony, this meeting has quite limited goals: seeking ways to better secure existing supplies of bomb-usable plutonium and highly enriched uranium.”

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