Arab countries welcome IAEA resolution on Israel and NPT
Some Arab countries have welcomed the latest resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on urging Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Xinhua reported.
The resolution was adopted late last week at the 53rd IAEA general conference in Vienna.
The resolution also urges Israel to subject all its nuclear facilities to IAEA checks.
Qazhiyah Khouri, Lebanon's ambassador to the IAEA and Austria, who now chairs the Council of Arab Ambassadors, described the resolution as a historic achievement which the Arab countries had been dreaming of since 1991.
The ambassador said that Arab countries were pleased to take the resolution as having a message to Western countries to re-consider their support for Israel, especially in the light of an international environment that calls for ridding the world of nuclear weapons, an environment that had been outlined by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Ambassador Khouri said Arab countries were now waiting for positive, debatable initiatives so a consensus could be reached, paving the way for Mideast denuclearization.
Hossam Zaki, spokesperson of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that Egypt welcomed the IAEA resolution and that the result of the IAEA voting on the resolution had shown an increasing support from the international community for Egypt's legitimate claim for Mideast denuclearization and putting all of Israel's nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguard.
The spokesperson said the wording of the new IAEA resolution was clearer than previous versions, demanding some countries join the NPT instead of only appealing to them to make the move.
He added that the resolution had refuted an Israeli error in logic by pointing to the fact that only the peaceful process could help bring Mideast denuclearization and regional security.
Last week's IAEA general conference in Vienna saw the resolution pass with 49 votes for, 45 votes against and 16 abstentions.
Representatives from Arab countries expressed their pleasure with the resolution right after the chairman of the general conference had announced the voting result.
In 1981, the United Nations Security Council passed UNSC Resolution No.487 asking Israel to put its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguard.
As its follow-up, the Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1995 and 2000 twice stressed the significance of Israel's accession to the NPT treaty and of putting all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguard.