Australia supports nuclear-free zone

15:44, June 02, 2010      

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Australia on Wednesday lent support to an international conference aiming to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons, which may force Israel to disarm.

An international conference on the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which has just finished, pushed for the goal of making the Middle East a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has given some support to it.

In a joint statement with Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Smith noted the push for a nuclear-free Middle East was "an important outcome of the conference".

"This commitment was crucial to achieving a consensus outcome," the statement read.

A key conclusion of the NPT treaty review conference was to call for a regional conference in 2012 to advance the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East.

Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons, strongly opposed that conclusion.

Australia and Japan worked together on nuclear weapons issues.

Relations between Israel and Australia have been cool following this week's fatal incident on board an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, and the earlier forgery of Australian passports by Israel.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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