Arabs seek nuclear arms-free Middle East
Manama, December 9, 2013
By Sandeep Singh Grewal
World powers and the United Nations should intensify their efforts to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons, said a top Arab officials.
They should also impose political, economic and military sanctions against any offending country, including Israel, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The call to establish a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the region was backed by Saudi-based King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies board chairman Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
He was speaking during the fifth plenary session of the ninth annual Manama Dialogue, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which ended yesterday (December 8) at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa. The session was titled International Interest in Middle East Security and Non-Proliferation.
"The Middle East should be free from all weapons of mass destruction including biological and chemical ones," he said.
"We need collective assurance by the P5+1 group of nations (US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) and the UN Security Council to back us up and impose tough sanctions on those who develop weapons of mass destruction.
"The world powers should also issue statements stating they back the Middle East, which is free from weapons of mass destruction."
Prince Turki Al Faisal said Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons, including biological ones, but nothing was being done to curb its programmes.
"If there is Israel on one hand, then we have Iran which has been enriching uranium on the other. But with the interim agreement signed between P5+1 and Iran, there is some hope," he said.
"At this stage, we do not know the details of the agreement as the P5+1 group did not consult GCC states in the negotiations."
He was joined by Harvard University's Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs executive director for research Dr Gary Samore, who said the US administration, in the past, has failed to address Israel with regard to weapons of mass destruction. - TradeArabia News Service