China, US vow to boost nuclear security cooperation

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Washington, April 1 (IANS) China and the US reaffirmed their joint commitment to global nuclear security and pledged to continue cooperation in this area beyond the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process.

In a joint statement released as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama met here on Thursday on the sidelines of the fourth NSS, the two countries declared their “commitment to working together to foster a peaceful and stable international environment by reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism and striving for a more inclusive, coordinated, sustainable and robust global nuclear security architecture for the common benefit and security of all,” Xinhua news agency reported.

“We plan to continue this dialogue on an annual basis, so as to intensify our cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism and continue advancing Nuclear Security Summit goals,” said the joint statement.

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Meanwhile, the two sides also agreed to push forward cooperation on conversion of miniature neutron source reactors (MNSR) from highly enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium fuel, including working through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to support the conversion of MNSRs in Ghana and Nigeria as soon as possible.

China, according to the joint statement, also “reaffirms its readiness, upon the request of respective countries, to convert all remaining Chinese-origin MNSRs worldwide.”

Furthermore, Beijing and Washington expressed satisfaction on “the fruitful cooperation between the two sides in enhancing the security of radioactive sources, in particular regarding recovery of disused sources and transport security of radioactive sources,” and pledged to further strengthen cooperation in this regard and facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices with other countries.

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The NSS process, initiated by Obama and headlined by a biennial leaders’ meeting since 2010, will come to an end in its current format after the fourth summit, though nuclear security is faced with increasingly grave and complicated challenges.

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