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Who’s going to Biden’s nuclear lunch?

The White House is taking advantage of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next week to bring together some crucial countries and lay some groundwork for the next major arms control conference, over lunch. Vice President Joseph Biden will host a private soireé Monday while President Obama is over at Blair House conducting a series ...

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

The White House is taking advantage of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next week to bring together some crucial countries and lay some groundwork for the next major arms control conference, over lunch.

Vice President Joseph Biden will host a private soireé Monday while President Obama is over at Blair House conducting a series of bilateral meetings. The invitees are countries at the summit who meet two additional criteria: they are members of the non-aligned movement who are also signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT review conference will be in New York in May, and these are some of the countries that will need the most persuading or pose some risk of complicating that event.

The White House is taking advantage of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington next week to bring together some crucial countries and lay some groundwork for the next major arms control conference, over lunch.

Vice President Joseph Biden will host a private soireé Monday while President Obama is over at Blair House conducting a series of bilateral meetings. The invitees are countries at the summit who meet two additional criteria: they are members of the non-aligned movement who are also signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT review conference will be in New York in May, and these are some of the countries that will need the most persuading or pose some risk of complicating that event.

"This group of states will be critical to the president’s agenda to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, as well as to the broader success of our efforts to reinforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," a White House official told The Cable.

The countries that meet the invitee criteria are Algeria, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, and Vietnam.

The official added that Biden plans to discuss both next week’s summit, which focuses on securing loose nuclear material, and the NPT conference, which is held every five years and is more focused on states’ actions toward developing nuclear weapons and producing nuclear fuel.

He will also "take the opportunity to lay out the steps the administration has taken to reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons, the contribution to world security represented by the newly signed New START agreement with Russia, and our common goal to achieve a successful outcome to the NPT Review Conference," the official said.

Countries that are in compliance with the NPT are no longer targets of U.S. nuclear weapons, according to President Obama’s newly released Nuclear Posture Review, so that should put some of the member countries at ease.

For a full schedule of Nuclear Security Summit events, read The Cable’s summit preview.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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