U.S. to host nuclear security summit in Washington next March

U.S. President Barack Obama told his Group of Eight colleagues Wednesday the United States will convene the first global nuclear security summit in Washington next March, senior U.S. administration officials said.

An advocate of a nuclear-free world, Obama revealed the plan during a just-started three-day annual summit of the G-8 -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, the officials said.

It came after Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fixed a framework earlier this week for a new pact that would reduce their vast arsenals of Cold War nuclear warheads to as few as 1,500 each.

The U.S. president has said he will resubmit the proposed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Senate for ratification. The pact was signed by former President Bill Clinton but rejected by the Senate in 1999.

He has also said the United States will seek to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, allocating more resources and authority for international inspections and mandating ''real and immediate consequences'' for violators of the treaty.

When he laid out a bold vision for a world without nuclear weapons in April, Obama said the United States plans to host a global summit within one year on preventing nuclear terrorism.

(Distributed by Kyodo News on July 9, 2009)