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Egypt discusses nuclear-free Middle East

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Egypt’s permanent representative in the UN said Egypt took part in organising high level talks to discuss the issue

Egypt discussed making the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction, the permanent representative of Egypt in the UN said.

Egypt’s Permanent Representative, Mootaz Khalil said in a statement on Thursday that Egypt organised two high level seminars, in cooperation with the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, and that the “high level participation and attendance reflect Egypt’s leading role in disarmament” in the UN.

Khalil said the “international openness” towards Iran and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria require concentration on “moving forward.”

According to the statement, attendees of the talks include Angela Kane, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ibrahim Dabbashi, the Permanent Representative of Libya to the UN, who was elected Chair of the Disarmament and International Security Committee, as well as the Permanent Representative of Indonesia, Desra Percaya.

The statement said that Egypt’s organisation of the seminars reflect Egypt’s priority of clearing the region of weapons of mass destruction during the 68th ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

During the UNGA, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy gave a speech in a high level meeting on nuclear disarmament. He stressed the “universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty” and called for quickly holding a meeting on a Middle East nuclear weapon free zone, which was supposed to be held in Finland in 2012 but is yet to be held.

Fahmy had also held talks with Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Predatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation and Fahmy expressed frustration with the double standards followed in issue of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. He asserted the importance of ratifying the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty for all countries in the region. Fahmy demanded that all countries in the region sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and work on clearing the Middle East of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

On Sunday which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the 1973 War, Interim President Adly Mansour announced the launch of “multiple nuclear plants for peaceful purposes, beginning with Al-Dabaa.” Mansour thanked Al-Dabaa residents for for relinquishing control of land to the military for the plant’s construction.


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