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Statement by H.E. Ambassador LI Song at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on Israeli nuclear issue
2023-11-23 22:00

Mr. Chair,

 The Middle East should not be subject to the threat of nuclear weapons. This is a common call from the countries of the region. The establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle-East is conducive to curbing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, preserving the authority and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime, reducing arms race and conflict risks and providing an important mechanism that will ensure lasting peace and security in the region. 

China always advocates for the strengthening of universality, authority and effectiveness of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), supports the countries in the Middle East in promoting the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in accordance with the UNGA resolutions as well as relevant documents of the NPT Review Conference, and supports intensification of relevant international efforts through implementing the IAEA General Conference resolution “Application of Safeguards in the Middle East”. On November 13th, the fourth session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction was held in the UN Headquarters in New York. China attended the conference as an observer and made constructive contributions to the conference. 

China calls upon all countries in the Middle East to fulfil NPT obligations in good faith, sign and approve the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol as soon as possible. Israel should join the NPT as a non-Nuclear-Weapon State at an earliest possible date and place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards of IAEA. Countries in the region and the Nuclear-Weapons States should take up their due responsibilities and join the process of establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction within the framework of the UN. 

The developments in the Middle East has intensified the concerns of the international community and countries in the region over the Israeli nuclear issue. China believes that this issue should be given greater attention within the framework of NPT and IAEA, where serious discussions should be held. China will continue to support and actively participate in relevant international efforts aiming at establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and, at the same time, encourages the parties concerned to make greater diplomatic efforts to find solutions through dialogue and consultations, so as to make contributions to preservation of the authority and effectiveness of the NPT regime, settlement of concerns of the countries in the region and peace, security and stability in the Middle East region. 

Thank you, Mr. Chair.


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