Qatar has called for the eradication of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region, stressing that the existence of one nuclear-armed state in the Middle East makes regional stability almost impossible and leads to a nuclear arms race that seriously affects global security and stability.
Qatar expressed hope that the results of the historic summit held recently between the leaders of South Korea and North Korea will open the door for communication between the peoples of the two countries and achieve lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the world.
Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, ambassador of Qatar to Austria and permanent representative of Qatar to the United Nations and international organisations in Vienna, said in a statement before the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in Geneva that people of the Middle East need diplomatic initiatives and similar courageous resolutions that restore hope for peaceful solutions to the intractable problems in the region, first and foremost the dangers of the nuclear arms race by embarking on practical steps to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
The ambassador added that Qatar recognised the importance of the region's nuclear-weapon-free zones in promoting international norms of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, supporting international efforts to achieve peace and security, encouraging the establishment of such zones and providing them with the necessary security guarantees.
He stressed that the danger of the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East is one of the main factors that plague the people of the region due to the continuing unrest, the phenomenon of terrorism and the dangers posed by the possibility of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist groups, which necessitates everyone to intensify international co-operation to spare the region and the world the dangers for which the NPT was created.
Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani said that the non-nuclear states, including the countries of the region, have fulfilled their obligations to the NPT and subjected their nuclear facilities and programmes to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, but Israel remains the only country in the Middle East that has not acceded to the NPT, which requires the international community to pressure it to join the treaty and end the blackout and ambiguity in its nuclear programme and subject all its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive IAEA safeguards, similar to the programmes of the countries of the region such as the Arab Gulf states, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran.
The ambassador pointed to the efforts of Qatar to implement its international obligations under the provisions of the NPT as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation system and the achievement of complete and comprehensive nuclear disarmament.
He pointed out to Qatar's call to the states parties to the treaty, in particular the five nuclear powers, to take steps during the Review Conference of the NPT in 2020 for the faithful implementation of the provisions of the treaty, in particular the implementation of the Middle East resolution of the 1995 Conference and the Review Conferences 2000 and 2010, considering that the denuclearisation of the Middle East is one of the bases for the strengthening of international peace and security.
He further added that the most important topics facing the Review Conference 2020 is the convening of the postponed 2012 Conference and the establishment of the region under the auspices, care and responsibility of the UN secretary general and representatives of countries sponsoring the resolution of the 1995 Conference and remove all obstacles with the co-operation of the states of the region.