12 Arab countries call for WMD-free Middle East
(Vienna) – A total of 12 Arab countries have jointly submitted a working paper on establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and nuclear weapons.
The move occurred on the conclusion of the first preparatory meeting for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of Nuclear Weapons, Kuwait’s Deputy Permanent Delegate to the UN headquarters in Vienna, first Secretary Abdullah Al Obaidi said. The second meeting will be held in Geneva in 2018 for the 2020 conference.
In a speech on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Kuwait’s Permanent Delegate at the United Nations in Vienna Ambassador Sadeq Mohammad Maarefi stressed that establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction proliferation aims to support regional stability and security.
He said that Resolution 1995 on Middle East, which was taken on a basis of an indefinite extension of the NPT, remains in force until its goals are achieved.
He pointed out that all the Parties to the NPT of Nuclear Weapons are asked to implement the resolution.
The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
GCC states have confirmed that the aim of establishing a Middle East zone without WMD is to achieve stability and security in the region.
Maarefi lamented the “failure” of the latest NPT review convention, held in 2015, due to lack of seriousness on part of nations armed with nuclear weapons toward honoring their NPT commitments.
Noting Israel’s failure to ink the NPT, Maarefi said the treaty should include more members so it could be rendered a global accord.
Arab countries, supported by member states of Non-Alignment Movement, suggested to hold a regional conference on imposing a ban on WMD, mainly nuclear weapons, in the Middle East region, as was mentioned in the documents during the conferences in 1995 and 2010.
However, Israel’s rejection to join the treaty constitutes a barrier to hold this conference.