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Russia worried by lack of progress on WMD elimination

June 11, 2014, 19:47 UTC+3 ROME

A conference on the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East behind closed doors is currently taking place in Rome

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ROME, June 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The world can get rid of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) only if certain criteria are met and the security of countries is not impaired. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said this in a statement in Rome where he is attending a conference on the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

“We are concerned about the lack of progress [on the elimination and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction] and today’s session showed that many share this concern. We can see a growing number of calls for complete nuclear disarmament,” he said.

The diplomat believes that complete disarmament can be possible “only if a number of criteria are met and no security of any country is impaired. There is a hard search underway to find recommendations on how to rid the whole region of nuclear weapons”, Ryabkov said.

The conference is taking place behind closed doors. US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman, and the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan were said to be attending the event.

Iranian sources told ITAR-TASS that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif may come to Rome on Thursday, June 12, to attend the final session of the conference where the final document is to be adopted.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi is expected to arrive in Rome on Wednesday evening for talks with Ryabkov in the run-up to the next round of talks on the Iranian nuclear issue between the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Tehran.

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