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China reaffirms support for nuke-free Middle East

(Xinhua)

10:25, September 16, 2011

VIENNA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday reaffirmed its support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and said that Israel should join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as soon as possible.

China has always supported the strengthening of international nuclear non-proliferation regime and has been committed to promoting the universality, effectiveness and authority of the NPT, said Huang Wei, China's deputy envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Huang told the ongoing IAEA board meeting that China advocates that Israel should join the NPT as a non-nuclear country as soon as possible and put its all nuclear facilities under the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards.

Meanwhile, all countries in this region should earnestly fulfil their NPT obligations, sign and ratify IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreement and its additional protocols, Huang said.

Huang also said that China welcomed the proposal of holding in 2012 an international conference on a WMD-free (Weapon of mass destruction) zone in the Middle East, which was agreed at the 2010 NPT review conference.

China also welcomed the IAEA initiative to host a forum in November on building a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, and hoped that parties concerned strive to implement relevant recommendations made by the NPT review conference, Huang added.

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