Russia’s foreign minister has expressed Moscow’s readiness to host a conference on freeing the Middle East region of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
It is possible for Russia to hold such a conference “in the near future,” Sergei Lavrov said before attending a meeting of the Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum in the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum on Wednesday.
“There should be a conference to remove weapons of mass destruction and put in place an agreement to make the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons,” Lavrov said.
The remarks come as under a US-Russia deal, Syria handed over the last of its chemical weapons stockpile in June to a joint mission led by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
This is while, the Tel Aviv regime, which is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads.
Furthermore, Israel has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The top Russian diplomat, who arrived in Khartoum late on Tuesday, also met with his Sudanese counterpart, Ali Ahmed Karti, and the African country’s president, Omar al-Bashir.
After the meetings, Lavrov announced that Russia would seek to strengthen its military ties with Sudan, but “in a way that will not disturb the balance of power in the region.”