Arab News runs an article about discussions concerning making the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons. It seems that this is an issue again more aspirational than practical, at least for now.
Nuclear-free Middle East faces an arduous road
A VEIL of silence and secrecy has shrouded the fate of a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in 2012, since the UN announced on Oct. 14, 2011 that Finland will host it. The veil slowly lifting now corresponds to the “wall of silence” in Israel, which Israeli anti-nuke activist Sharon Dolev is persistently trying to break — with some success.
Knowledgeable sources in Berlin, London and Helsinki are convinced that the conference will indeed take place — from Dec. 14 to 16 with seasoned Finnish diplomat and politician Jaakko Laajava as facilitator. However, hardly anyone appears to be particularly enthusiastic about it.
In fact, as Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and a leading anti-nuclear and anti-war campaigner says, “many will see this proposal as a pipedream.” She adds: “There are of course significant obstacles to overcome before this conference can succeed, but certainly, the biggest threat to the region would be failure.”