By Abdelwaheb El-Guyed (with photos) VIENNA, Sept 19 (KUNA) -- Kuwait called here Wednesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to exert more efforts to verify all world nuclear facilities and programs are destined for peaceful purposes.
The head of the Kuwaiti delegation attending the IAEA conference, ambassador Mohammad Al-Salal addressed the event by calling for putting all nuclear activities in the Middle East under the IAEA safeguards system.
He regretted that while all Middle East countries are committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the safeguards agreement, Israel is still reluctant to sign the NPT.
By possessing nuclear reactors, Israel poses a threat to the entire region, thus blocking efforts to create a nuclear-free Middle East, he regretted. In this context, he cautioned against Israeli recalcitrance that negatively affects regional security and stability. But, he welcomed a call for holding an international conference late this year on how to establish a nuclear-free Middle East.
Al-Salal said his country considers the IAEA safeguards system an effective way for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons worldwide.
On Iran's nuclear program, the Kuwaiti ambassador said his country supports the right of all countries to have nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes, but he urged Tehran to boost its cooperation with the IAEA and to respond to its questions regarding its nuclear program.
He also reiterated Kuwait's backing to a nuclear fuel bank under the IAEA oversight, saying his country donated USD 10 million for the purpose last year.
However, he stressed the necessity of providing safeguards and fulfilling security and safety requirements in order to head off nuclear incidents. (end) KUNA 200001 Sep 12NNNN