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Ashton regrets postponement of conference on Mideast WMD-free zone

November 24, 2012, 21:48 UTC+3
The High Representative was particularly grateful to the Facilitator for his tireless efforts to lay the groundwork for a successful conference
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BRUSSELS, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy EU High Representative regretted the postponement of the Helsinki Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

“The High Representative notes with regret the postponement of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which the 2010 Review Conference of the "on-Proliferation Treaty had scheduled for 2012,” her spokesperson said in a statement issued on Saturday, November 24.

She reiterated EU support for “the ongoing preparations for a successful conference with the participation of all States of the region and the efforts of Ambassador Jaakko Laajava, the appointed Facilitator, and his team, to that end”.

The High Representative was particularly grateful to the Facilitator for his tireless efforts to lay the groundwork for a successful conference, against the backdrop of turmoil and dramatic political change taking place in the Middle East, the statement said.

Ashton expressed hope that “the Conference will be convened as soon as possible, since its goal of promoting the establishment of a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East is an objective to which the EU, along with all the members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, subscribed in the Barcelona Declaration in 1995”.

She stressed that the “EU remains actively engaged in supporting this process, notably through its on-Proliferation consortium and a series of seminars on the topic, such as those organised in 2008, 2011 and November 2012”.

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