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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Explanation of Vote by the Delegation of the Arab Republic of Egypt on Resolution entitled Risk of Proliferation in the Middle East

DATE: Wednesday, 25 November, 1998


Explaination of Vote by the Delegation of the Arab Republic of Egypt on the Resolution Entitled

"Risk of Proliferation in the Middle East"

A/C.1/53/L.21 Rev.1

Delivered by Ambassador Dr. Mahmoud Karem

25 November 1998



Mr. Chairman,

I feel compelled to refer to the intervention just made by the distinguished delegate of Israel as he once again, and frankly to our regret, attempts to uphold his theory of delusion while commenting on the draft resolution entitled "Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East".

I suggest that the delegate of Israel follow well the deliberations of this committee and pay attention to the conduct of its business. The delegation of Egypt has not introduced draft L.21 as he has mentioned, but to shed for him some light to guide him through his obscurity, I have introduced L.21 Rev.1. Honestly I fail to understand his logic, and invite him to take the floor once again and explain to us here where exactly the draft and I quote, "more severe in comparison with last year's resolution.

To him, Mr. Chairman, and to those who argue and pose the question why is the resolution focusing on the Middle East and ignores serious developments in other regions; to those Mr. Chairman, we say that Arab countries in the Middle East have indeed met their promise and acceded to the NPT. They have honored their commitments and renounced the nuclear option. They have placed all their activities, if any, under IAEA safeguards, and despite all that remain under an imminent threat from Israel which refuses to accede or even show a commitment to join NPT, Israel continues to refuse to negotiate or even discuss the nuclear issue in kind of forum. We may set into hypothetical or even conceptual arguments on the fundamental differences between the region of South Asia and the Middle East. conceptually too, we may argue:

 That there is no parity in our region;

That in terms of obligations and responsibilities and records vis--vis the NPT, all countries of the Middle East have taken solid steps except Israel; and

That the application of an enhanced and more rigorous IAEA verification mechanism 93+2 will be signed as additional protocols by all states in the Middle East, with Israel outside this regime because it refuses fullscope safeguards.

Again Mr. Chairman, we fundamentally differ with the argument that Israel has never been a threat to any of its neighbors, an argument which is once again employed by Israel in a renewed attempt of distortion. The argument itself, Mr. Chairman is self-defeated, and allow me to furnish some salient, but compelling questions in order to straighten the facts out before this august committee for the sake of putting them in right perspective when pondering and reflecting upon them.

 Why were the nuclear forces of the then two super powers in the 1973 war placed on a Nuclear Alert "Defcon III" ?

 Was it not because of an Israeli nuclear threat?

 Isn't Aging Dimona a threat?

What about the contaminating effects of the release of radioactive waste from storage facilities closing the gardens surrounding Dimona several times. Isn't this a threat?

 How did we know all that? From the Israeli public opinion and media. May I invite the attention of the distinguished delegate of Israel to a book recently published by an Israel scholar Avner Cohen entitled "The Quiet Bomb". Hopefully this piece of work will help him identify areas of lacuna and comprehend the anxiety of both Israeli and Arab public opinion ! )

What is the effect of recent seismological activities and earthquakes on the nuclear structure inside Israel? We would all be better off if reassurances came from the competent international authority. IAEA!

 How will that affect underground water resources and surrounding nations?

 Isn't it opportune now that the international community be seized with the question of nuclear safety in Israel?

Indeed Mr. Chairman, one fails to understand how some can severely condemn and take strong action against one proliferator, while all but condoning the actions of anther. One also fails to understand how a country can claim to be seeking a just peace in the Middle East while at the same time insisting to maintain its ability to annihilate its neighbors with more than 200 nuclear warheads.

The resolution on the "Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East" is in fact an understatement. The truth of the matter is that we should not remain complacent by voicing concerns over a ' risk ' of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. If this ' risk ' situation is not quickly redressed, to the delegate of Israel, I say, that there are no in-betweens; there are no gray areas; there are no attenuating circumstances; and there is absolutely no substitute for righteousness to which I recommend to the delegate of Israel.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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