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Obama, Nazarbayev Discuss Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed nuclear non-proliferation and the conflict in Ukraine at a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly September 29, the White House said.

Nazarbayev on September 28 had urged UN members to abandon nuclear weapons by 2045 as "the main goal of humankind in the 21st century."

He said Kazakhstan was the first country in history to close a nuclear site as it renounced weapons that were part of the former Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal.

By abandoning nuclear weapons, Kazakhstan helped create a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia, Nazarbayev said, adding that a nuclear-free zone is needed in the Middle East.

"Nuclear powers should provide guarantees that they will not use [nuclear] force on all the countries that have abandoned nuclear weapons," he said.

Nazarbayev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also voiced his support for a swift resolution to the Ukrainian conflict through "full implementation” of a cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk in February.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax