Arab League chief calls for nuclear-free Middle East

"Why should Israel be special? We're all scared of a nuclear weapon, whether it is with country A or country B."

May 22, 2006 13:35
1 minute read.
Arab League chief calls for nuclear-free Middle East

Amr Moussa 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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The Arab League chief on Monday said that Arabs want the whole region to be free of nuclear weapons, including the arsenal Israel is believed to possess. "Why should Israel be special?" Moussa asked. "We're all scared of a nuclear weapon, whether it is with country A or country B." "The Middle East does not need a military nuclear program, be it Iranian, Israeli or other," Moussa told a news conference at the World Economic Forum meeting on the Middle East. "Our goal and interest is to have a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction." Meanwhile, a Syrian Foreign Ministry official said Syria was invited to the summit but did not attend "because Israel was participating, particularly because the forum was taking place in an Arab country." He said Arabs were unconvinced by US charges and European concerns over Iran given what they see as a double standard. "If there is an Iranian military nuclear program, and I underline if, (proof of) it should be based on documented information from the International Atomic Energy Agency, not on information coming from here and there," he said. Moussa said he had no confidence in the current claims, emanating from Washington and Israel. "It has been proven in the Iraq war that there was information that was deliberately or inadvertently false. ... Information must come from an international organization that is credible and responsible," he said. Iran's nuclear program, Syria and its troubles with the United Nations, and Hamas with its aid boycott by the United States and European Union are among some of the most contentious issues in the region and the absence of the three shunted those important questions to the sidelines.

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