by Staff Writers
United Nations (AFP) Oct 11, 2012
UN leader Ban Ki-moon threw his support Thursday behind a conference aimed at creating a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, urging all countries in the region to attend it.
Finland is ready to host the meeting in Helsinki in mid-December, which Ban hailed as a "unique opportunity for all states of the region to collectively enhance their security," the secretary-general's office said.
Ban "urges all states of the region to participate in and contribute to a successful conference," it added after he met Wednesday with Finland's undersecretary of state fore foreign affairs, Jaakko Laajava.
The UN leader also welcomed a commitment from the Arab League to consider the conference "in a serious and constructive manner."
Neither Israel nor Iran have said they plan to attend the gathering.
Israel and its Western allies worry that Iran's nuclear program masks a drive to develop an atomic bomb. Tehran vehemently denies the charge, saying its activities are aimed for civilian energy and medical purposes only.
Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, has said it will not rule out unilateral military action against Tehran to prevent it from developing a weapon.
The Jewish state is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which governs and restricts the development of nuclear technology, although it is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Shaul Horev, head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, has said the situation in the Middle East was not yet "conducive" to creating a nuclear-free zone.
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
'Even the captain didn't know': veteran recalls Cuba crisis
Moscow (AFP) Oct 11, 2012
In May 1962, Soviet Red Army officer Vadut Khakimov received urgent orders calling him back from leave to rejoin his secret military unit in the southwestern Russian region of Bryansk. His unit, specialised in inspecting nuclear warheads before they were installed on missiles, was given cryptic commands to prepare for "manoeuvres in the north of the country". Along with tens of thousands ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|