Commenting on the prospects for a conference on achieving a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone, Minister Alistair Burt said:
“The British Government supports the objective of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East. We regret that it will not be possible to convene a successful conference to be attended by all states of the region as planned in 2012. More preparation and direct engagement between states of the region will be necessary to secure arrangements that are satisfactory to all.
“We support the convening of a conference as soon as possible. We endorse fully the work of the Conference Facilitator, Finnish Under-Secretary of State Jaakko Laajava, to build consensus on next steps. We welcome his commitment to conduct further multilateral consultations with the countries of the region to agree arrangements for a conference in 2013.
“We will continue to work with our fellow convenors (the US, Russia, and the UN), with the Facilitator, and with countries of the region, to meet our undertakings to convene a conference on this important issue, as soon as possible.”