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NEW YORK, (ST)- Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has stressed that Syria was one of the first countries to join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Syria joined the NPT in 1969, that is, even before the treaty entered into effect, starting from its strong belief that the world and the Middle East region must be free of this nuclear weapon which is very destructive to humanity, said al-Jaafari during a Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Al-Jaafari added that in 2003 Syria submitted a draft resolution to establish a WMD-free Middle East zone, but this draft resolution, which is still in the drawers of the Security Council, has faced the threat of being blocked by the American veto if it is put to vote by the Council.

According to al-Jaafari, in 1978, Syria effectively participated in the success of the first extra ordinary session of the UN General Assembly on disarmament. It signed the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1992 and took part effectively in the adoption of the resolution of the NPT’s Review Conference in 1995 about the establishing a WMD-free Middle East in exchange for the indefinite extension of the Treaty. Syria also signed the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons in 1972 and joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013.

He went on to say that Syria is looking forward to reaching a comprehensive treaty on nuclear weapon-free Middle East in order to attain security and peace to all peoples of the world.

He affirmed that the United States and Israel disregard the international will to build a nuclear-free Middle East, noting that their claims regarding the nuclear weapon non-proliferation is nothing but a political rhetoric that has nothing to do with reality.

Al-Jaafari added that the absence of Israel, the only party which keeps refusing to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the absence of United States from today’s conference sends a negative message to the conference and to the international community saying that the two sides (Israel and the U.S.) are giving no heed to the international will to establish a WMD-free Middle East.

Hamda Mustafa

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