Saturday, 23 May 2015

Hope lies in resurrecting middle east WMD-free zone post NPT failure

Letter sent to the New York Times on 23 May
Re: “Dispute Over Mideast Nuclear Arms Ban Torpedoes U.N. Conference” (May 23)

It is politically perverse that the month-long review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended in failure on Friday because of disagreements over Israel, a nation which is not even a member of the NPT.

You report that the United States delegation to the conference held at the U.N. headquarters in New York blamed on Egypt, with Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller accusing Egypt and other Arab states of bringing "unrealistic and unworkable conditions" to the negotiations.

Before diplomatic despair sets in, may I draw attention to the Paris Summit of Mediterranean countries, held on 13 July 2008, under the co-presidency of the French Republic and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and importantly in the presence of Israel, which was represented by its then Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, the issue of peace within the region were explored in depth, and the final declaration stated the participants were  in favour of:

"regional security by acting in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological non-proliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional nonproliferation regimes and arms control and disarmament agreements.."

The final document went on to say:
"The parties shall pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. Furthermore the parties will consider practical steps to ….promote conditions likely to develop good-neighbourly relations among themselves and support processes aimed at stability, security"


I think hope lies in resurrecting this agreement.

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