Lugar to meet with Asian officials about Nunn-Lugar program

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) plans to meet with officials from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia this week to advocate for the continued global expansion of the Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

"Cooperation is essential to identifying and interdicting the flow of weapons of mass destruction through Southeast Asia. Sources of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or precursor materials could be states or rogue terrorist elements," Lugar said, reports. "Southeast Asia is a major intersection of global trade and commerce by water and air. U.S. strategic economic and foreign policy needs to become more robust in the Asia-Pacific region and Nunn-Lugar Global Cooperative Threat Reduction will be an important tool for our diplomatic and military leaders as we seek a more integrated approach to the region."

Lugar will be in Asia through Nov. 2. In addition to meeting foreign officials, he will also visit U.S. Navy Pacific Command for briefings and overseas navy operations critical to Asia-Pacific security and Nunn-Lugar interdiction missions.

Since beginning in Nov. 1991, the Nunn-Lugar program, authored by Lugar and Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), has destroyed 3192.3 metric tons of Russian and Albanian chemical weapons agents and built and equipped 39 biological threat monitoring stations, according to

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