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Asia Forum Participants Support Nuclear-Free Middle East, Central Asia Statement

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Member states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) declared in the final statement their support for making Middle East and Central Asia a nuclear-free zone.

SHANGHAI, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Member states of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) declared in the final statement their support for making Middle East and Central Asia a nuclear-free zone.

“We support establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and All Weapons of Mass Destruction, based on arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned,” the statement reads.

It also hails the nuclear-weapon-free status of Central Asia, sealed by the 2009 treaty of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as “a significant contribution to strengthening of global regime of non-proliferation.”

“We support the inalienable right of all states to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including power generation, with due respect to their non-proliferation obligations and their commitments emanating from agreements to which they are parties; in particular the IAEA Safeguards Agreements,” the statement reads.

The majority of Middle East and Central Asian countries are CICA members, except Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait and Turkmenistan.

The member states said they “take note” of Kazakhstan’s offer to host an IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank on its territory and called upon IAEA to make the supply of Low Enriched Uranium from this bank available to all its member states without any preconditions that detract from the IAEA Statute.

States participating in the 2010 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York have issued a resolution to hold a conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone no later than in 2012.

The conference has not taken place because of US objections, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

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nuclear, Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Asia
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