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Postponement of the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (November 26, 2012)

The United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, which are depositary states of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), have announced the postponement of the Helsinki Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The holding of a facilitation conference in 2012 was one of the key measures set out in the final document of the NPT Review Conference in May 2012.

The French authorities have taken note of this postponement and welcome the fact that these three states have unequivocally reaffirmed their determination to pursue this objective, in collaboration with their partners, and to hold this meeting as soon as conditions permit.

France has always strongly advocated the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the goal of which was set in 1995. This is born out by the fact that we regularly vote in favor of texts supporting the goal of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons within the framework of the UN General Assembly.

The EU also mobilized its efforts in support of this goal by organizing seminars in July 2011 and then in November 2012 in order to facilitate dialogue between the stakeholders in the region.

Our commitment alongside our close partners, especially the three depositary states of the NPT which are recognized as having a special responsibility to organize the conference, remains constant. We must continue to work together in a constructive manner in order to ensure that this conference takes place as swiftly as possible with all stakeholders and under the best possible conditions.

In this respect, we commend the exceptional facilitation efforts of Mr. Jaakko Laajava, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, aimed at harmonizing positions and creating a climate conducive to the organization of the conference. We hope that Mr. Laajava’s appointment will be renewed for the next phase of the process.


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