Gaza War urges peace efforts to restore stability in Middle East: Shoukry

Sami Hegazi
5 Min Read

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the ongoing war in Gaza, where nuclear weapons were used against the Palestinians, requires all peace-loving forces to work together to restore and strengthen the regional stability in the Middle East.

Shoukry made this statement on Monday at the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, where he discussed the growing security challenges that the world is facing today. He said that these challenges pose a serious threat to the multilateral international system, especially the disarmament mechanisms, and call for responsible action from all parties through the exercise of political will and the implementation of their obligations.

Shoukry emphasized the central role of the Conference on Disarmament in the international security arena, but lamented the deadlock that the conference has been experiencing for years, which prevented it from adopting an agenda that would enable it to fulfill its negotiating mandate.

He attributed this to several factors, mainly the refusal of some states to make any meaningful progress in nuclear disarmament in a verifiable and irreversible way.

Shoukry said that the reality shows the persistent avoidance of nuclear-weapon states from their nuclear disarmament commitments under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He said that these states continued to maintain their privileged status, and to expand their nuclear arsenals both horizontally and vertically, undermining the credibility of the international system for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

He added: “In this context, Egypt, given its historical role in shaping the international disarmament system, stressed the need to restore the prominence of disarmament and arms control issues on the international agenda.

It also stressed the need for nuclear-weapon states to comply with their legal obligations to achieve nuclear disarmament in a verifiable manner under the NPT and the outcomes of the review conferences in 1995, 2000, and 2010, and to work towards the speedy attainment of the universality of the NPT.”

The minister urged the nuclear-weapon states, especially the three depositary states of the treaty, to take all necessary measures to support the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, which called for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the region.

He also pointed out that the strategic tension between nuclear-weapon states necessitates working to achieve legally binding security assurances against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.

Regarding the ongoing war in Gaza, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s condemnation of all attacks on civilians and called for an immediate halt to the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, as well as the achievement of a lasting ceasefire and the provision of humanitarian access to civilians. He also denounced the double standards that some apply to the value of human life.

The foreign minister reaffirmed Egypt’s absolute rejection of any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from their lands, and the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities in protecting the Palestinian people and supporting their legitimate right to establish a Palestinian state on their territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the framework of the two-state solution.

He referred to the strategic dimensions of the security environment in outer space and its close connection with the strategic balance between nuclear powers, which made the Prevention of an arms race in outer space one of the main objectives of the international community’s efforts to achieve international security and stability.
The foreign minister stressed that the success of the conference on Disarmament in adopting the programme of work for the current year will constitute a necessary step on the right path to restore the credibility of the multilateral international system, which is directly in the interest of strengthening international peace and security, the first purpose of the United Nations.
Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s commitment to supporting all efforts of the CD presidencies to revive the historic role of the conference to contribute to the adoption of a comprehensive and balanced work programme that responds to our common goals in a more secure and stable world.

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