54th IAEA general conference opens

19:34, September 20, 2010      

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The 54th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference opened here Monday, with the implementation of safeguards in Middle East, especially Israel's nuclear capabilities, expected as center of attention during general debate.

In the opening statement of the conference, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano noted that no progress had been achieved on the development of model safeguards agreements toward establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.

At last year's General Conference, an Arab nations-supported resolution was passed calling for Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and putting all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of IAEA.

The United States and its allies have been trying to block the resolution being adopted again this year, on the grounds that talk of Israeli nuclear issue could jeopardise newly-launched Middle East peace talks.

A Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) statement to the board rejected the U.S. reasoning behind excluding Israeli nuclear issue, noting that stability cannot be achieved in a region where massive imbalances in military capabilities are maintained particularly through the possession of nuclear weapons.

Israel has enacted a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying the existence of its atomic warheads.

Source: Xinhua


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