MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russia is seeking for setting the date of a conference over the creation of a zone free of mass destruction weapons in the Middle East as quickly as possible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the traditional annual meeting with the students and teachers of the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) here on Monday.
“In 2010, when a review conference on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons was held the resolution was approved that a conference over the creation of a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East will be convened no later than in 2012,” he recalled.
“Russia, Great Britain and the United States as the depositories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were defined as the co-initiators of this conference together with the envoy of the U.N. general secretary. Despite all our efforts, the co-initiators failed even to set the date of this conference due to the position of the U.S.,” the minister added.
“Our U.S. partners cited different circumstances, we agreed that these circumstances exist and many of them are objective. In particular, it is needed to provide for the participation of all regional countries with specific potentials, particularly the participation of Israel and Iran. This is a very difficult task. But it is already wrong to say just that this task is difficult and let’s delay its fulfillment,” Lavrov noted.
The minister added that the task to hold this conference still exists. “We are seeking for setting its date as quickly as possible, because a new review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is coming in 18 months. In my view, the Arab countries in the region say absolutely fairly that if you do not fulfill your pledge to create a zone free of nuclear weapons and other mass destruction weapons, we will not take a constructive attitude to other problems of these review conferences related with the fact that it is needed to strengthen, but not shake the regime of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons,” Lavrov said in conclusion.