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Egypt, U.S. Clash Over Nuclear Free Middle-East at the United Nations

May 24, 2015
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry addresses the Opening Meeting of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at United Nations headquarters in New York, April 27, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The U.S. said states, particularly Egypt set “unrealistic” conditions at a United Nations conference, while Egypt accused the U.S. and other delegations of deliberately trying to “hinder” efforts to create a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. The tensions come after Egypt was adamant about reaching a regional, legally binding agreement to create a nuclear-free zone that all Middle East states must abide by. According to liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israel objected to a proposed deadline for a regional conference. The UN’s Non-Proliferation Treaty, a treaty that came into effect in 1970 to prevent the “wider dissemination of nuclear weapons,” is reviewed at five-year intervals. This year’s NPT review conference ran from April 27 to May 22 and like several previous conferences, it did not reach consensus on a final declaration to create a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. Egypt has long been vocal about calls for a nuclear-free Middle East, as per a 1995 resolution passed during a review and extension conference of the NPT. It led efforts to rally Arab states behind a proposal presented at this year’s review conference in what was often described as the…

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