Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2010 17:13 UK

President Obama to meet 11 heads of state in Prague

US President Barack Obama
Mr Obama will be in Prague to sign the successor to the Start treaty

US President Barack Obama is to meet 11 Central and East European leaders in Prague next week.

Mr Obama wants to see how the region "can continue to contribute not just to European, but global security", said a statement from the White House.

He will be in the Czech capital to sign a nuclear arms treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 8 April.

The pact, agreed last month, commits Russia and the US to big cuts in nuclear warheads.

It replaces the 1991 Start treaty which expired in December.

The new treaty restricts both Russia and the US to 1,550 warheads, about 30% less than currently allowed, the US says.

Mr Obama hailed the treaty as the most comprehensive weapons control agreement in nearly two decades.

Mr Obama and Mr Medvedev are due to sign the pact before a ceremonial lunch hosted by Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

The US president will also hold separate talks with Mr Medvedev and the Czech leadership before returning to Washington.

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