Qatar publicly reaffirmed its belief that the Middle East should establish a zone free of nuclear weapons at a UN conference in Geneva yesterday.
Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, told the United Nations Conference on Disarmament:
“‘It is certain that we can make significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals if some of the resources spent on armament were reallocated to economic and social development as well as to the fight against climate change, food insecurity and poverty.”
Qatar has repeatedly stated its views on nuclear proliferation at a number of high level conferences, including at the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Parties in Vienna last year, and at the UN in New York last October.
The Qatar News Agency reports that the Minister called for a comprehensive programme of action at the conference, with the aim of moving towards an “advanced stage” of disarmament this year.
Meanwhile, talks in Kazakhstan which aimed to persuade Qatar’s neighbour Iran to scale back its nuclear ambitions ended without a breakthrough yesterday. More talks are planned in Turkey next month.
Iran denies seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
Credit: Photo by Jamelah
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the accurate title of Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah