G7 leaders call for 'world without nuclear weapons' -statement

G7 Summit in Hiroshima

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations called on Friday for a "world without nuclear weapons," urging Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to cease nuclear escalation and embrace non-proliferation, a statement released by the White House showed.

Russia's nuclear rhetoric and stated intent to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus "are dangerous and unacceptable," and Russia should return to full implementation of New START treaty, the leaders said in the statement.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub and Katharine Jackson; Editing by Doina Chiacu)