CAIRO: Egypt renewed its call to hold a conference to establish Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ) Monday, noting Israel has nuclear capabilities that are not subjected to any safeguards system.
In his speech at the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, which is being held from April 27 to May 22 in the United National headquarters in New York City, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Egypt calls on the U.N. to invite all Middle East countries to hold a NWFZ conference.
Holding the conference was stymied in 2012 when Israel, the only country in the Middle East has nuclear arsenal, and U.S. officials announced that the timing to hold the conference is “inappropriate due to tensions in the region,” USA Today reported.
“The Arab group will submit a detailed document to amend such trend and to hold the conference in a way to carry out tthe Middle East resolution of 1995,” Shoukry said.
“I would like to move to another matter relating directly to the security and stability in the Middle East; Egypt has sought for four years to bring about a nuclear-free Middle East and it was keen to put this matter in the top of its foreign policy priorities in recognition of the dangerousness of such weapons,” Shoukry continued.
Shoukry added that the international community is still unable to limit the proliferation of the nuclear weapons as stipulated in the nonproliferation treaty that has not yet been signed by Israel, India, Pakistan or South Sudan yet.
Shoukry noted that Egypt is heading to establish the first nuclear power plant to meet its electricity needs in coordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA.) In February, Egypt announced that Russia would participate in building its first plant.
The Prime Minister held sideline meetings with counterparts from various countries including with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and highlighted the necessity to create a Middle East free from nuclear weapons. Iran has been accused by the international community, especially the U.S. and Israel of having a nuclear weapon, which contradicts with the NTP conditions. However, Tehran has said its program is being used for peaceful activities.