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Nuclear-Arms-Free Zone Can Spur Stability

Central Asia’s Nuclear-Arms-Free Zone Can Spur Stability Elsewhere, Official Tells UN

New York, Sep 22 2006 10:00PM

The recently signed Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia can spur progress on other issues related to those arms, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan told the United Nations General Assembly today.

“The signing of that milestone instrument could become a catalyst for the process of enhancing the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT),” Kassymzhomart Tokaev said of the new pact signed by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

He said Kazakhstan’s strong stance on nuclear weapons stemmed from its experience. “This position is rooted in the sufferings of our people, who are still reeling from negative effects of nuclear explosions at the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground shut down exactly 15 years ago.”

States should strictly comply with their commitment to a moratorium on nuclear test explosions and work to ensure the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Mr. Tokaev said.


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