The world is facing a constant threat from terrorists prying to attain nuclear weapons, US President Barack Obama said, emphasising the need to secure such weapons and that the world must continue to stand guard.
“Even with all your success — the thousands of missiles destroyed, bombers and submarines eliminated, the warheads that have been deactivated — we’re nowhere near done. Not by a long shot. You all know this,” Obama said.
“There’s still much too much material — nuclear, chemical, biological — being stored without enough protection. There are still terrorists and criminal gangs doing everything they can to get their hands on it,” Obama said in his address to the 'Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction' symposium.
“And make no mistake, if they get it, they will use it; potentially killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, perhaps triggering a global crisis. That’s why I continue to believe that nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security,” he said.
“That’s why working to prevent nuclear terrorism is going to remain one of my top national security priorities as long as I have the privilege of being President of the United States,” Obama said.
Observing that “we cannot let our guard down” Obama said this needs to be a sustained effort across all organisations and the government.
“We have to keep investing in our people and in new technologies. We have to sustain the partnerships we have, and that includes Russia,” he said.
Referring to the recent Russian comment that the current agreement hasn’t kept pace with the changing relationship between the two countries, he said: “To which we say, let’s update it. Let’s work with Russia as an equal partner. Let’s continue the work that’s so important to the security of both our countries. And I’m optimistic that we can.”