Gulf Cooperation Council renews commitment to nuclear weapon-free Middle East

Gulf Cooperation Council

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations have vowed to renew their commitment to establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons.

GCC member nations acknowledged that the commitment will require the “political will” of all parties. They also noted “the legitimate right of states to peaceful uses of nuclear energy” in line with the aim of the United Nations landmark of the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Speaking on behalf of GCC countries, Abdulaziz Alwasil, the permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations (UN), called for the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons. Alwasil also expressed concern at “ongoing clandestine nuclear activities in the Middle East.” Alwasil also noted that some nuclear facilities are not “controlled” by the International Atomic Energy Agency. He highlighted that these problems could “weaken the efforts made toward confidence building” and would “threaten international and regional peace and security.” He reportedly said, “The continued clandestine nuclear activities in the Middle East will lead to threats to international peace and security.”

He was speaking during the third session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

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Through the three pillars of NPT, GCC member nations called for the destruction of the existing nuclear arsenals and the promotion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

A resolution on a Middle East zone free of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) was adopted at an NPT review conference in 1995. Alwasil said that it would help to achieve the ultimate goal of establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East region.

During the meeting, Alwasil said that Saudi Arabia has put in efforts to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons. He said that Saudi Arabia participated in the previous two Conferences on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

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