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UN special coordinator urges all nations to discuss non-proliferation in Middle East

All nations should take part in discussions on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladeov told TASS on Monday, commenting on the US and Israel refusal to participate the UN conference on the issue.

“I think that everyone in the international community, with no exceptions, has an interest in reducing the threat of another arms race in the Middle East, also [the threat] of nuclear proliferation. I feel that the discussion on the Middle East nuclear-free zone is a very old discussion,” Mladenov said. “I hope that all countries will be able to find their way back to the table on this issue, because, certainly, from a global perspective in terms of the risks to the international peace and security, proliferation is one of the top risks.”

“We must do everything that we can to prevent it,” the UN official continued. “Certainly, in the Middle East this is the case, but not just in the Middle East.”

The UN conference on creating a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction took place in New York on November 18-22. The conference participants adopted a declaration, highlighting their “intent and solemn commitment to pursue in accordance with relevant international resolutions, and in an open and inclusive manner with all invited states, the elaboration of a legally binding treaty to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.” Besides, the participants agreed to hold regular sessions every year, in late November. The second session of the conference is scheduled to be held on November 16-20, 2020, and will be chaired by Kuwait.

Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said last week that Washington tried to disrupt other states’ efforts to hold the conference. He also expressed regret that Israel did not participate.

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