The United States and Israel refused to participate in a UN conference on establishing a zone free of all types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East, which will be held in New York from November 18 to 22, Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov told Izvestia.
According to him, Moscow is always ready to help the Middle Eastern countries in creating this zone, if they request it.
“It is too early to talk about creating the zone – at the very least, we need to get down to work. The resolution on this issue was adopted in 1995 and co-authored by Russia, the US and Great Britain. The three of us are responsible for the implementing this initiative, especially since back then it had allowed us to extend the Non-Proliferation Treaty indefinitely by consensus. However, 24.5 years have passed since then, and there has been no progress. We honestly tried and, I think, we did much more than the United States and Great Britain, who at times were more likely to even interfere,” he said.
“Now practical work will finally begin, though without the Americans,” the diplomat noted adding, “The Americans refused to take part because Israel refuses to participate.”
Ulyanov stressed that Arab countries of the Middle East “proceed from the assumption that Israel has nuclear weapons and does not want to abandon it.” At the same time, Israel does not want to discuss this issue within the UN, the diplomat noted. According to him, Russia and China will take part in the conference as observers, the UK and France have not yet responded to invitations. Ulyanov will head the Russian delegation.