Taking forward its initiative to secure Syria’s chemical weapons Russia said it will push for establishing a zone from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East.
“Resolving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria will mark a big step towards implementing a long-standing goal of setting up a WMD-free zone in the Middle East,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Geneva following his three days of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria’s chemical arsenals.
Mr. Lavrov recalled that the 2010 Non-Proliferation Review Conference appointed Russia, Britain and the U.S. the co-founders of a conference on establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.
“The conference was to be convened last year,” the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Mr. Lavrov as saying. “Unfortunately, we have faced delays. We think this is an unacceptable situation. We will firmly and consistently work to bring about this conference.”
The U.S. has blocked efforts to declare the Middle East a WMD-free zone as this would involve stripping its main ally, Israel of its nuclear weapons.