Egypt withdrew from the sessions of the preparatory committee for the 2015 Review Conference to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in Geneva, Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported on Monday.
According to the news agency, the decision came in response to the failure of the international community to end the presence of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destructions (WMD) in the Middle East.
“The withdrawal step aims at sending a strong message about the unsatisfaction of Egypt concerning the non-seriousness of the international community in dealing with such critical issue that influence the Egyptian and Arab peace and security,” the assistant to Egypt’s foreign minister for international organizations’ affairs, Hisham Badr, said.
The NPT treaty, which was opened for signatories in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, comprises the largest membership of any arms control treaty with almost 190 parties and subject for a review process every five years.
According to MENA, Egypt has regularly called on Israel to sign the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect all its nuclear facilities.
Israel is widely believed to be the only Middle Eastern state which possesses a nuclear arsenal.
However, much to the disgruntlement of Arab countries, Israel has repeatedly refused to provide concrete information on its nuclear capabilities.
The other countries, who own nuclear capabilities but refuse to sign the NPT are India, Pakistan and North Korea.
In December 2012, the UN General Assembly had approved a resolution calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear sites for international inspection.
Moreover, at an NPT conference in 1995, the Arab states proposed to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the region.