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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
First Committee
8th Meeting (PM)
GA/DIS/3278
13 October 2004

ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES, ILLICIT SMALL ARMS TRADE, NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONES
AMONG ISSUES ADDRESSED IN CONTINUING DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE DEBATE


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Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its general debate on the whole range of arms limitation and security arrangements.  (For background, see Press Releases GA/DIS/3271 and 3272.)

Statements

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FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) ...

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Voicing support for a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East, he called on Israel to pull out of the Arab territories it had occupied in 1967.  He also noted that Israel, backed by nuclear weapons, had pursued expansive and aggressive strategies in the Middle East, a region that was often discussed in a falsified and deceptive framework.  If one looked at the true facts, he said, one would see that his country had actually been among the first to call for the establishment of a regional zone free from weapons of mass destruction.  Declaring that the United Nations should supervise nuclear disarmament in the Middle East, he lamented that a lack of international agreement had led Israel to feel that it did not have to sign on to the NPT, or subject its weapons facilities to international inspection.

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