Qatar Reiterates Full Support for Establishing Middle East WMD-Free Zone

New York, The State of Qatar reiterated its support and readiness for full cooperation to establish a weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-free zone in the Middle East to rid the region of the specter of wars and unrest, looking forward to a serious and fruitful work in the 4th session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

This came in the statement of the State of Qatar delivered by Vice Chairman of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) Saad Abdul Hadi Al Marri before the 4th session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction in New York.

He indicated that the project to establish a Middle East WMD-free zone is considered a unique challenge to rid the region of WMD of all three types, noting that it is an extremely complex task, given that the Middle East is still a hotbed of conflict and fraught with conflicts.

Al Marri stressed the importance of strengthening efforts to make the Middle East region free of WMD as it is an essential step for consolidating the non-proliferation system and achieving the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and their facilities, stressing that the goal of establishing a region in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons is a common goal for the peoples of the region and for the entire international community.

He reiterated the State of Qatar's firm stance on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the fraternal Palestinian people, and the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. He also reiterated the State of Qatar's condemnation of the extremist Israeli statements regarding dropping a nuclear bomb on the besieged Gaza Strip, which is considered a dangerous incitement to a war crime and a disregard for international values and laws and is an admission that Israel possesses this destructive weapon, which contradicts with the Middle East WMD-free zone.

The Vice Chairman of the NCPW called for the necessity of accelerating the establishment of the Middle East WMD-free zone in accordance with Security Council Resolution 487 of 1981, Paragraph 14 of Security Council Resolution 687 of 1991, and the relevant General Assembly resolutions.

He said that the Middle East region is still witnessing a state of instability, which makes it possible for the international community now to discover options for reviving the arms control process in the Middle East. He pointed out that the current difficult period may not be the best for holding such discussions, but it is a critical period in which we need many discussions with an open mind in order to move forward.

He added that from this standpoint, Qatar supports all initiatives aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction, and the means of delivering them in the Middle East, without further delay, and as recommended by the review conferences of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its indefinite extension in 1995.

Al Marri pointed out that the responsibility for establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is a collective responsibility imposed by international documents and resolutions, and that the continuation of the current blockage is something that exacerbates the state of instability that the region is witnessing, and detracts from the credibility of the treaty and the decisions of its review conferences. He called on the conference to correct the course and take actual steps to achieve progress towards establishing the zone. He reiterated the State of Qatar's affirmation that the path towards establishing a WMD-free zone passes through all countries of the region, whose facilities and activities must be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as a criterion for verification.

The Vice Chairman of the NCPW pointed out that the State of Qatar is working at a steady pace to advance the principles of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as they represent the basic principles in strengthening international peace and security. He indicated that the State of Qatar has participated over the past four decades in all efforts and initiatives that sought to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. He noted that Qatar has signed and ratified the NPT, the Nuclear Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, and other international treaties related to WMD.

In conclusion, he reiterated the State of Qatar's emphasis on continued cooperation to achieve common goals and objectives towards establishing a region where security and peace prevail, which is free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Source: Qatar News Agency