Saudi Arabia calls for WMD-Free Middle East

Mohammad Al-Qahtani, the member of the Kingdom's permanent delegation to the United Nations

Saudi Arabia stressed that the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East is a collective responsibility at the international level, urging the international community, the United Nations and the States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to fulfill its obligations towards the establishment of this zone, especially the signatories of the Treaty, in order to promote peace, security, and stability in the Middle East in particular and the world at large.

This came in a speech by Saudi Arabia in the thematic debate on nuclear weapons during the work of the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security at the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was delivered Tuesday by the member of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the United Nations, Mohammad Al-Qahtani.

Al-Qahtani, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), expressed the Saudi delegation’s support for the statement of the Arab Group and the Non-Aligned Movement, which is a commitment by the Kingdom to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international legitimacy as key pillars of its foreign policy.  Saudi Arabia attaches particular importance to strengthening the role of the United Nations in all areas, particularly with regard to issues of international security and disarmament, in the belief that these issues represent an integrated unit without which the world cannot live in peace and stability.

Al-Qahtani said that Saudi Arabia confirms that the 1995 resolution of establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East is still in force until its goals and objectives are achieved.

Al-Qahtani indicates that Saudi Arabia reaffirms that Israel’s continued refusal to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to subject all its nuclear facilities to the IAEA comprehensive safeguards regime poses a serious threat to international peace and security, as well as representing a violation and defiance of dozens of relevant UN resolutions and of Security Council resolutions nos. 487 and 687 specifically.

On the other hand, Al-Qahtani pointed out that Saudi Arabia stresses the importance of a “comprehensive international agreement” on Iran’s nuclear program, which ensures preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons in any way.

Al-Qahtani expressed that Saudi Arabia welcomes the UN Secretary-General’s invitation to Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction to be held by the United Nations next November under the chairmanship of Jordan on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution no. 546/73, and urges all States parties invited to this Conference to participate without any preconditions.

“Saudi Arabia reaffirms the inherent right of all countries to peacefully use nuclear energy in accordance with IAEA standards, procedures and supervision, and supports the position calling to facilitate the transfer of technology, expertise, and equipment related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” Al-Qahtani said.