Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said that Egypt demands the total elimination of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, and the establishment of a regional nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ).
Shoukry added that Egypt has grave concerns about the stalemate in efforts to implement nuclear disarmament obligations by nuclear states.
The minister’s remarks came during a speech at a high-level virtual meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, held as part of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
On Friday, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Shoukry asserted Egypt’s keenness to implement the UN agenda for reactivating disarmament measures at the regional and international levels. The country has also shown its support for efforts to make the Middle East an area free of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
It is a longstanding UN proposal aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Shoukry said that Egypt calls on nuclear states to immediately shoulder their responsibilities, and to abide by their commitment to full disarmament of WMDs. This would come as part of their commitment to Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons treaty (NPT).
The treaty is facing unprecedented, dangerous, and escalating challenges, that have left Egypt deeply concerned about possible effects on its credibility, he added.
Shoukry said Egypt hopes the next review conference will adopt a balanced final document that reaffirms worldwide commitment to previous resolutions. It would include the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, in light of the 2019 UN consensus to establish such a zone.
The NPT treaty, which has been signed by more than 190 countries, came into effect in 1970. It recognises the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France as countries with nuclear weapons.
The minister said that Egypt views the complete and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons as subject to international verification as a possible goal. The country also considers it a necessary measure to establish peace, security and achieve sustainable development.