Egypt has called on Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to place all their nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. According to state-owned news agency MENA, the statement was made by Ambassador Sayed Abul Enein, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Disarmament and Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, during the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations NPT Review Conference in Geneva.
In his speech Abul Enein said that Egypt attaches great importance and priority to foreign policy regarding nuclear disarmament on an international level. He praised the strides made in establishing nuclear-free zones in Latin America and Africa, and called for a push towards the establishment of a nuclear-free Middle East.
Egypt also confirmed its continued cooperation with the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), which is composed of Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland and New Zealand.
Egypt is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), along with Iran and several Latin American countries.
Both NAM and NAC states are party to the NPT agreement and issued statements earlier in the week stressing that nuclear disarmament remained the highest priority of the participating nations.
Abul Enein said in his statement to MENA that Egypt demands parties adhere to the basic tenants of the NPT, referring to it as a cornerstone of security and stability at a global level.
In a statement made at the conference, Egypt’s chief delegate to the United Nations in Geneva was critical of the impact the meetings have on real-world policy making. Hesham Badr congratulated the new chairman’s appointment and said that given the track record of these meetings he feared that countries would ignore any decisions reached by consensus.
“Given the situation it is indeed important to go back to basics,” Badr said, adding that the NPT was originally set up by states possessing nuclear weapons who had committed themselves to nuclear disarmament and in exchange non-nuclear states would not pursue nuclear armaments.
Badr was also critical of states that own nuclear weapons, saying: “Not all of the five (China, Russia, France, Britain and the USA) nuclear weapon states have committed to decreasing their nuclear arsenals. On the contrary, all nuclear weapon states continue to modernise their weapons-related facilities, arsenals and/or the means of delivery.” Badr also criticised the five states for deploying nuclear weapons in non-nuclear states, calling it a violation of Articles One and Two of the NPT.
The NPT was opened for signatures in 1968 during the Cold War. The treaty aimed to ensure no other countries would pursue nuclear weaponry, and the countries who already possessed such weapons pledged to pursue disarmament and share non-military nuclear technology with other countries.