US and Russia to propose ban on WMD in Middle East

Tough global talks ahead in review of nuclear treaty as Egypt aims to
put pressure on west over Israel

President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad of Iran reads verses from the Koran at Tehran airport before
leaving for New York. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

US and Russia have drafted a new initiative to ban nuclear arms and
other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, the Guardian has

The proposal – involving the appointment of a special
coordinator to conduct exploratory talks with Israel, Iran and the Arab
states, followed by a regional conference – will be a central issue at a
major conference beginning tomorrow in New York aimed at preventing the
further spread of nuclear weapons around the world.

and Moscow have circulated the proposal among the three other permanent
members of the UN security council, seeking their endorsement. But it is
unclear whether the initiative, which is aimed at reviving a
largely-forgotten 15-year-old agreement with some tentative practical
steps, will go far enough for Egypt, a key player at this month’s talks.
Cairo has long championed the idea of a WMD-free Middle East as a means
of exerting pressure on Israel, the only state with nuclear weapons in
the region.

The New York conference brings more than 150
countries together in a month-long effort to repai… >>>

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