At GA debate, Gulf State ministers pledge support for nuclear-free zone in Middle East

30 September 2013

In their addresses to the United Nations General Assembly today, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain and Oman reiterated their support for making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, urging greater support for regional partnerships in the field of security.

In his statement, Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah stressed that Oman continues to support the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, adding that “the end of this dispute does not come through coercive policies and practices, such as sanctions and other measures with limited frames that weaken their effectiveness.”

On the other hand, he urged the international community, particularly the depositary States of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to persuade States in the Middle East to join the treaty and to subject their nuclear facilities to the comprehensive control system under the supervision of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Similarly, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said his country supports Iran’s talks with the P5+1 grouping, which is made up of the five Security Council permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – along with Germany.

He also noted Bahrain’s commitment to cooperate with the UN to enhance stability in the sensitive regions and reject “terrorism, extremism and violence.”


Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

In that vein, he urged the international community to add the Lebanese Hezbollah to the international list of terrorism organizations “in view of their criminal terrorist acts” aimed at terrorizing civilians and “generating instability and chaos.”

Addressing the 68th General Assembly debate, which concludes tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers also voiced support for the ongoing peace efforts in Syria related to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué.

“We invite the United Nations and the international community to shoulder their responsibilities by taking the appropriate deterrent measures to halt the serious violations of human rights to which the Syrian people are subjected,” said Sheikh Khalid.

In addition, in his separate statement, Mr. bin Alawi also pledged support and humanitarian assistance to the displaced Syrians and those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.


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Ban reiterates support to establish nuclear weapon-free zone in Middle East

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