Egypt, Russia to Work Harder on Starting WMD-Free Zone Confab

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 17, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

Fol­low­ing Syr­ia’s prom­ise to give up its chem­ic­al weapons, Egypt and Rus­sia on Monday pledged to work harder to garner Middle East­ern sup­port for a con­fer­ence on es­tab­lish­ing a re­gion-wide ban against un­con­ven­tion­al weapons, IT­AR-Tass re­por­ted.

“We agreed [to] prac­tic­al steps to in­vig­or­ate the pre­par­a­tion of this im­port­ant event, es­pe­cially against the back­ground of the Syr­i­an lead­er­ship’s de­cision to join the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion,” Rus­si­an For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lav­rov said after meet­ing with his Egyp­tian coun­ter­part, Nab­il Fahmy.

Syr­ia’s will­ing­ness to go along with WMD-free zone talks is ex­pec­ted to have re­per­cus­sions on oth­er re­gion­al states thought to pos­sess un­con­ven­tion­al weapons. Syr­ia has a siz­able chem­ic­al-weapons ar­sen­al and a sus­pec­ted bio­lo­gic­al weapons pro­gram.

In­ter­na­tion­al ef­forts in late 2012 to con­vene a U.N.-backed con­fer­ence on ne­go­ti­at­ing a weapons-of-mass-de­struc­tion-free zone for the whole Middle East fell apart after Is­rael would not con­firm its par­ti­cip­a­tion in the event. As Is­rael is widely seen as hold­ing the re­gion’s sole nuc­le­ar ar­sen­al, the Jew­ish state’s in­volve­ment in the con­fer­ence is seen is as es­sen­tial for it to be a suc­cess.

Wash­ing­ton sup­ports Is­rael’s po­s­i­tion that a re­gion­al pro­hib­i­tion on weapons of mass de­struc­tion is not real­ist­ic if there is no all-en­com­passing Ar­ab-Is­raeli peace deal and if Ir­an main­tains its en­rich­ment of urani­um and oth­er nuc­le­ar-weapon-re­lated activ­it­ies.

In­ter­na­tion­al at­ten­tion on Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al ar­sen­al also has meant that some of the spot­light also is on Is­rael’s own sus­pec­ted chem­ic­al-weapon cap­ab­il­it­ies. Is­rael has signed but not rat­i­fied the CWC ac­cord, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted.

One­time Is­raeli De­fense Min­is­ter Amir Peretz in a Monday ra­dio in­ter­view would not dis­cuss ques­tions about his na­tion’s sus­pec­ted chem­ic­al ar­sen­al. “It’s clear to every­one that [Is­rael] is a demo­crat­ic, re­spons­ible re­gime,” he said. “I very much hope and am cer­tain that the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity will not make this a cent­ral ques­tion and we will main­tain the status quo.”

Is­raeli For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Paul Hirschson said his gov­ern­ment could not rat­i­fy the CWC pact in the present se­cur­ity cir­cum­stances.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
23 hours ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×