News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrormideast-misc — Viewing Item

Arabs calls for weapons ban { April 16 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Arab call for arms ban

Arab countries are pushing for a United Nations resolution declaring the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

The move is thought to be aimed at focusing attention on Israel which is accused of having nuclear capability.

It also follows United States allegations that Syria has chemical weapons which prompted fears that it may be next in line for military action.

"The only party in the region with weapons of mass destruction is Israel. If Israel is the only country, then why are the accusations against Syria?" said Syrian envoy Fayssal Mekdad following a meeting of Arab diplomats at the UN on Tuesday.

There have long been calls for the Middle East to be a nuclear-free zone.

Wide-ranging resolution

But the new resolution promoted by the 22-nation Arab Group will also seek to eliminate chemical and biological weapons.

Syria is a party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, but not to the international conventions to control chemical or biological weapons. Israel is not a party to any of the treaties.

Any attempt to threaten Syria is unaccepted absolutely
Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani
The US has been blamed of having double standards in trying to crack down on Syria, North Korea and Iran while ignoring Israel which is assumed to have nuclear arms and possibly other weapons of mass destruction.

"These ideas which we shall present to the Council will show that we are sincere in our expressions of rejecting weapons of mass destruction and that the only party that has them is Israel," Mr Mekdad said.

He said Syria would become a party to the biological and chemical weapons conventions "provided that Israel takes them as well".

The Arab League on 24 March had decided to seek a resolution declaring the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, said the body's representative to the UN Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani.

Syrian role

But it was decided that Syria - the only Arab nation on the Security Council - should introduce the resolution on Wednesday.

Ambassador Mahmassani added that Syria was being subjected to "unacceptable threats" from the US based on "unfounded allegations".

"The Arab world is already engulfed with anger and frustration and rage over the attack and occupation of Iraq. Any attempt to threaten Syria is unaccepted absolutely," he said.
But on Wednesday, American officials said they believed a senior member of Iraq's intelligence service Farouq Hijazi had flown to Syria the previous day from Tunisia, where he held the post of Iraqi ambassador.

He is believed to have been director of external operations for Iraqi intelligence in the early 1990s, at the time of an alleged Iraqi plot to assassinate President George W Bush's father, when he was himself president, during a visit to Kuwait.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell had tried to calm the charged atmosphere on Tuesday, saying Washington had no plans to go to war with Syria.

Ties between the US and Syria have long been strained by US support for Israel and Syria's backing of the Lebanese group Hezbollah and radical Palestinian groups, which Washington considers terrorist organisations.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/04/16 10:46:46


Americans shot near kuwait { January 21 2003 }
Arabs calls for weapons ban { April 16 2003 }
Assad arabs unite
Book details americans role in fundamental islam
Central asian countries drop troop withdrawal deadline { July 26 2005 }
Diplomats leave israel jordan
Explosives ship seized by greece
Gulf japan { May 6 2002 }
Jordanian spy agency replaces mossad as key ally
London theater to stage gaddafi opera { May 4 2006 }
Mideast armageddon { August 16 2002 }
Move air operations to qatar { April 28 2003 }
No democracy kuwait { February 27 2003 }
Only jewish state wmd { May 3 2003 }
Open hell gates
Peace comes to war torn south sudan { January 10 2005 }
Protesters siege Kyrgyzstan capital
Qatar relationship strained { December 22 2002 }
Sex trafficking plagues turkey from former soviet states { February 1 2006 }
Sharon bush identical { February 9 2003 }
Sudanese stage rally to execute brit teacher { October 2007 }
Syria relations { June 20 2002 }
Troops arriving in jordan for excercises { August 13 2002 }
Turkey US rift after speaker armenian bill { September 2007 }
Us staff leave israel { February 11 2003 }
Uzbekistan arrests blast suspects
Uzbekistan fighting continues
Uzkenistan attacks organized by international terrorists { April 2 2004 }
Uzkenistan tortures ignored with new ally { May 26 2003 }
Yemen attempts to rein in outlaw tribes { January 24 2006 }
Yemen tribesmen { December 28 1998 }
Yemeni gunman kills 3 at oil rig { March 19 2003 }

Files Listed: 32


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple