About Us Egypt

STATEMENT BY 

H.E. MR. ABDERAHMAN SALAHELDIN

AMBASSADOR OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT TO THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY  

 

Mr. President, 

Allow me at the outset to express Egypt's gratitude for Kazakhstan's invaluable contributions in leading and developing the CICA process since its inception. Your relentless efforts to develop and strengthen the organization, have led to the emergence of a viable security and cooperation forum for the greater Asian region. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks and appreciation for the government of Turkey for graciously hosting our present meeting. We pledge our full-fledged support to the Turkish leadership of the organization for the upcoming two years and are confident that it will lead to the accomplishment of the aims and objectives which we aspire to realize.  

Our conference this year convenes at a time of unprecedented challenges confronting both the Asian and global Community of nations; challenges that have threatened to undermine regional and international security and the well - being of our people. The lack of resolution of some protracted regional conflicts has questioned our resolve and dedication towards future collaboration in confronting other common threats.  

Today, we are faced with a new concept of security that is indivisible and comprehensive in nature. Emerging global threats such as terrorism, organized crime, nuclear proliferation, trafficking in arms and human beings, piracy and energy shortages, to name but a few, are global problems that transcend national boundaries. They require collective and multi-faceted international approaches to confront them, often involving political, economic, social and sometimes even coercive measures. The vast geographical outreach of the Asian continent and the diversity of its people have ensured the existence of a wide range of distinct regional dynamics that make it very difficult to design a unified set of confidence building measures that are suitable for the entire continent. 

Distinguished guests,  

In the Middle East, the Arab - Israeli conflict continues to persist, posing as a threat to both regional and global peace and security. The situation in our region is still dominated by considerable tension. Confrontation and mistrust hinder cooperation for the realization of the common good of the peoples of our region. One only needs to look at the latest Israeli attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza in international waters, which left scores of innocent civilians dead and injured. It proves beyond doubt that Israeli military occupation stands out as a major obstacle to peace in the region. Notwithstanding our relentless efforts to reach a peaceful solution to end that occupation and achieve security to all the parties, the lack of progress plays only in the hands of those who see it beneficial to exacerbate tension and mistrust.  

The most effective confidence building measure in the Arab Israeli context is to show some political will to achieve progress towards reaching a final and just settlement to the conflict. The blueprint of that settlement is very clear and universally agreed upon. It includes Israeli withdrawal from the Arab land occupied in 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital and resolving the Palestinian refugees problem on the basis of UN relevant resolutions.. In this light, it is evident that the very first confidence building measure that needs to be undertaken is to end the Palestinian people's suffering under Israeli occupation. If this very fundamental condition cannot be achieved, it would be very hard to perceive the emergence of a regional cooperative regime for confidence building in the Middle East.

 Ladies and Gentlemen

Regional security in Asia could be greatly enhanced by serious international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction. We welcome the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free zones in Central and South East Asia. For more than three decades, Egypt has been calling for the establishment of a Zone that is free from Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East.  

We commend the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 Review Conference's endorsement of the Egyptian and Arab proposal to convene a conference in 2012 that would be attended by all Middle Eastern States, towards the attainment of that goal. The conference, with the participation of 189 countries, also called on Israel to accede to the Treaty and place all of its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. This could be the most significant confidence building measure for regional security in the Middle East. CICA can contribute to this process by recommending measures that can improve transparency and develop efficient verification capabilities related to nuclear non proliferation.  

Expanding the commitments of the non-nuclear States Party to the NPT can not be accepted without achieving the Treaty's universality. It should not limit the non nuclear states rights to develop and use Nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. These legitimate rights however should not be used as pretexts to secretly develop Nuclear weapons.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

 It has become increasingly evident that progress toward improving international security is not solely dependent on military related measures. In fact, the unfolding of events in the past several years has also highlighted the importance of enhancing human interaction and dialogue. Asia's different peoples, religions and cultures provide a great potential for dialogue and interaction in order to help combating extremism and intolerance. In that regard, we would particularly like to affirm that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, culture or ethnicity. When dealing with the problem of terrorism, its root causes should also be addressed. It is in this light that CICA members need to work together to promote tolerance, mutual respect and understanding. This should be one of CICA's overarching objectives in the forthcoming period.

 Distinguished Guests,

 The CICA Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures elaborates a wide array of confidence building measures in numerous fields, including humanitarian, economic, environmental as well as the military - political dimensions. It also tackles the means of combating new challenges such as terrorism and trans-national organized crime. We look forward to having fruitful discussions and hope that the meeting will build on the outcomes of past international fora and will elaborate tangible proposals and recommendations in this regards.