Turkey strongly opposed to nuclear proliferation in Middle East

December 5, 2010

Turkey’s foreign affairs minister said that his country was opposed to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and Gulf region.

“We do not want to see nuclear proliferation in our region and we do not want to see any nuclear weaponry power in our region,” Ahmet Davutoglu told the Manama Dialogue security conference. “Therefore, a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East is the essential backbone of our policy.”

Problems and disagreements, like in the case of the Iranian nuclear programme, should be solved through diplomacy, he said.

“More diplomacy, more transparency, more international effort, more contributions from the Iranian side and from the international community is needed for a solution. Therefore, we are very happy that next week the nuclear talks will restart between P5+1 and Iran. We work very hard to contribute to this process and we will continue to support it,” he said.

Davutoglu insisted that the nuclear issue was not only a regional issue.

“The nuclear issue is a global issue. If we do not have a fair approach to this nuclear issue based on international law, it is difficult to solve it,” he said.

Turkey will keep its consistent policy on Iran’s nuclear programme.

“From the first day, we declared three principles regarding this issue. One is all nations have the right to obtain peaceful nuclear technology and energy, based on the principles of the NPT and the IAEA. Technology does not belong to only one country or group of countries; it is not like natural gas: ‘This is my land and this natural gas is from this land, so it belongs to me.’ You can say this for gas and oil, but you cannot say this for technology. All human beings contributed to technology and therefore all the nations have the right to obtain what technology we have today. But it must be peaceful nuclear technology,” he said.

The second principle is that Turkey is against nuclear weapons, wherever they are.

“Nuclear weapons create a real risk for the survival of humanity. Therefore, there should be a nuclear regime, as President Obama and other leaders declared last year, where nuclear weapons will not be in this world,” he said.

“The last dimension is the cultural dimension in the sense of the relationship between regional and global peace. As I said, our region is the backbone of world civilisation and we should not allow a clash of civilisations in our region. If there is cultural peace in our region, there will be cultural peace in the world. This region can contribute a lot to the cultural, political and economic future of humanity,” Davutoglu told the conference.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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