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Egypt Seeks to Unify African Stance on 'Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban'

Egypt Seeks to Unify African Stance on 'Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban'

Friday, 22 May, 2020 - 08:45
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

Egyptian Ambassador to Vienna Omar Amer took part Thursday in a meeting via video-conference with the Ambassadors of the African Group in Vienna.

The meeting came in light of the preparations for the upcoming meetings of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which kicks off in June.

Amer highlighted his country’s efforts to develop a unified African stance, which contributes to supporting the interests of African states.

He stressed the importance of the participation of heads of international organizations in the African Day Celebrations on Monday, which is scheduled to be held virtually in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Egypt has issued a joint statement with 16 countries demanding the elimination of nuclear weapons on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The occasion also coincides with the 25th anniversary of setting the resolutions issued by the 1995 Review Conference. These include the decision to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN Mohamed Edrees explained on Wednesday that the importance of the joint declaration lies mainly in its release by a geographically diverse group of countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America that have long been active in the non-proliferation field.

The statement includes clear and strong articles on the necessity for nuclear states to comply with the NPT’s obligations, regarding the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Edrees stressed that countries which have not yet joined the treaty shall do so immediately and without conditions.

The statement, according to the ambassador, shed light on the treaty’s pivotal role over the past fifty years in maintaining international peace and security.

The statement pointed out that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which was the reason behind the conference’s postponement to 2021, has clearly revealed many countries are investing resources on nuclear arsenals and their modernization at the expense of economic or healthcare development.

The joint statement was issued by Egypt, Malaysia, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Thailand, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the Philippines.

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