ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to attend the Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington on March 31-April 1, at the invitation of US President Barack Obama.

 Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry travelled to San Francisco this week where he attended a preparatory conference that discussed procedural matters relating to the summit, which will be attended by the heads of government and states of 35 to 45 countries. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Jalil Abbas Jilani also attended the preparatory meeting.

 The prime minister’s meetings with the world leaders are being scheduled and he is also expected to meet President Obama on the sidelines of the summit.

 The conference is last of the series of such summits as part of an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, break up black markets, and detect and intercept illicitly trafficked materials.

 The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington in 2010, followed by additional summits in Seoul in 2012 and The Hague in 2014. Prime Minister Sharif had attended the meeting in The Hague.

 These summits have achieved tangible improvements in the security of nuclear materials and stronger international institutions that support nuclear security. There were no other details available about the summit, but a statement posted on the White House website in August said that the 2016 summit will continue discussion on the evolving threat and highlight steps that can be taken together to minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium, secure vulnerable material, counter nuclear smuggling and deter, detect, and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism.

 The planned outcome of the Summit include a communique highlighting progress made and work still to be done to prevent nuclear terrorism. Leaders will also endorse plans to strengthen the enduring international institutions and initiatives that support nuclear security to enable them to carry forward and build upon the legacy of the Summits, the Aug. 5 White House statement said about the upcoming summit.

 The United States has said it is confident that Pakistan is well aware of its responsibilities with respect to nuclear security and has secured its nuclear arsenal accordingly.

 In a meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Sharif held in October, the two leaders had committed to work together to make the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Obama a success.

 President Obama had welcomed Pakistan’s constructive engagement with the Nuclear Security Summit process and its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international forums.

 Foreign Secretary Chaudhary, during his visit also had an interaction with the Pakistani community in Los Angles and also addressed the World Affairs Council. He is scheduled to attend a community function in Houston on Monday, being organized by the Asia Society.