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Jordan hosts third ministerial meeting of Stockholm Initiative

16 states renew their commitment to nuclear-free world

By Maram Kayed - Jan 06,2021 - Last updated at Jan 06,2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi meets with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday hosted the third ministerial meeting of the Stockholm Initiative on Nuclear Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, with 16 states renewing their commitment to a nuclear-free world.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that the world and the Middle East, in particular, are witnessing “enough crises, tensions and unrest” without the threat of nuclear weapons to add to it.

“We will continue to work on pushing nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation treaty. We envision a nuclear-free Middle East that has good relations with its neighbours,” said Safadi, who insisted that Arab countries have all “expressed their will to form friendly relations with Iran”.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Iran “must soften its tone and not gamble away the chance of an effective non-proliferation treaty with its recent 20 per cent uranium enrichment”.

Maas said that Tehran “must show moderation and back down on the dangerous uranium enrichment decision”, adding that the new Joe Biden-led US leadership “might make 2021 the year in which a course is set for a nuclear-free world”.

Noting that the past couple of years with their technological leaps have “accelerated nuclear and nuclear arms production rather than slowed it down,” Maas said that the work of the 16 states in the meeting on Wednesday is “multilaterlaism at its finest and a sign that nuclear order is on the right track forward”.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that the meeting, which was co-hosted by Sweden, is also “a way to involve women and the youth in the talk over disarmament”.

Linde highlighted Sweden’s “support for UNRWA and the services that it provides for Palestinian refugees”, with Safadi noting that the visits by the German and Swedish foreign ministers is “a chance to discuss their bilateral relations with the Kingdom and the effort and support they provide for Jordan’s hosting of the Syrian and Palestinian refugees”.

UN Secretary General António Guterres participated in the meeting with a recorded message.

The ministers said in a joint statement after the conference: “We renew our call on all nuclear weapon states to show leadership, address and reduce nuclear risks and advance nuclear disarmament by taking meaningful steps to implement the commitments under the NPT.”

“Recalling our declaration ‘The NPT at 50- advancing nuclear disarmament, securing our future’, adopted last year in Berlin, we reaffirm the ‘stepping stones’ contained therein as 22 concrete proposals to make progress on the road towards a world free of nuclear weapons,” they added.

In remarks to The Jordan Times, Safadi said that while the meetings discuss nuclear non-proliferation with states, they also work on preventing the acquirement of nuclear weapons by non-state actors.

“We know that terrorist organisations feed on chaos and the absence of hope, so if we wish to eliminate the threat of a nuclear crisis, we must solve the region’s crises in a way that satisfies all the parties and puts an end to the chaos,” he said.

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