Qatar calls for nuclear-free zone in Middle East
May 04 2017 10:57 PM
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Qatar has expressed concern over the worsening international situation, and has called for establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Speaking at the First Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in Vienna on Tuesday, Qatar’s ambassador and its permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, called for placing all nuclear facilities in the region under comprehensive safeguards of the agency in compliance with the resolution of the 1995 NPT Review Conference and in accordance with the mechanisms agreed upon at the 2010 Review Conference. 
Sheikh Ali bin Jassim said the situation was very grave with international and regional crises posing many challenges. He said the increased emphasis on nuclear weapons in the military and security doctrines of many countries, and the escalation of cyber wars are a major concern for the international community.
He noted Qatar’s support for the initiative to prepare a binding international instrument for a nuclear weapons-free world, which the United Nations General Assembly is considering at its current session, as well as its support for the international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, the last of which was a conference held in Vienna in 2015, which aimed at developing a greater awareness of the catastrophic consequences of use of nuclear weapons.
The ambassador also supported the position taken by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member-states at the meeting.
Sheikh Ali bin Jassim highlighted the need to avoid a repeat of the failed 2015 Review Conference. 
At every relevant international forum Qatar has warned of the long-term humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and stressed that the consolidation of peace, security and stability in the world requires nuclear disarmament and investing instead in social and economic development. 
Despite that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts have remain stalled. 
Qatar has argued that the threats posed by nuclear weapons require more efforts to create favourable conditions towards a nuclear-free world in accordance with the objectives of the NPT. 
It has pointed out that the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East represents one of the key factors that haunt the people of the region in the absence of real international efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons and in light of the ongoing turmoil in the region and the potential risks that terrorist groups could acquire these weapons.




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