Egypt pulls out of talks to protest Mideast nuclear arms

By REUTERS
April 29, 2013 22:04

1 minute read.



CAIRO - Egypt said on Monday it was withdrawing from a second week of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) talks in Geneva in protest at what it called the failure to implement a 1995 resolution for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

That was an implicit reference to Israel which neither confirms nor denies having nuclear arms and is not a signatory to the NPT. Arab states and Iran say Israel's presumed nuclear arsenal poses a threat to Middle East peace and security.

Cairo said it was pulling out of the talks "to send a strong message of non-acceptance of the continued lack of seriousness in dealing with the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East".

"We cannot continue waiting forever for the implementation of this resolution," Egypt's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MENA. Cairo called on member states and international bodies "to bear responsibility for implementing legitimate international resolutions."

U.S. and Israeli officials have said a nuclear arms-free zone in the Middle East could not be a reality until there was broad Arab-Israeli peace and Iran curbed its nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful energy and research purposes.

The two-week meeting in Geneva is to review progress in implementing the 1970 NPT, a treaty designed to prevent the spread of nuclear arms in the world.


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