Saudi Statement at the Nuclear Security Summit, Washington, DC

April 13, 2010

Your Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America,
Your Highnesses and Excellencies, Heads of State and Distinguished
Heads and Members of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the honor to convey to you, on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, sincere greetings and best wishes for the success of this Summit.  I would also like to express, on behalf of the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, our appreciation for the commendable endeavors that the United States has made in preparing for this Summit which, God willing, will help us to achieve the desired objectives including, in particular, the quest for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Mr. President,

The world is currently facing many challenges in its efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and avert the evident threats that they pose in zones of conflict and tension, especially in view of the aspirations of some states to acquire weapons of mass destruction that would affect international peace and security. For the last 60 years, the entire world has been relying on a multilateral diplomatic approach to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and on action through the United Nations and its organs, and specifically the Security Council as an instrument by which the international community is bound, to preserve international peace and security.  In reality, however, the inflexible positions of some states with regard to the acquisition of nuclear weapons without being subject to international safeguards has made that objective difficult to attain and might lead to a breakdown of the nonproliferation regime.

We are meeting here today in the hope of producing recommendations for the formulation of practical solutions on nuclear security issues, as well as other equally important relate issues such as personal security and development security, and achieving Security Council Resolution 1540 to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and to exercise stricter control over providers of nuclear services with a view to ensuring that they do not supply illegitimate bodies with nuclear materials or technology.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already submitted a report setting forth its views on measures to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, which has a close bearing on the present initiative.  That report was issued in an official document of the Sixth Review Conference of States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 2000.  In this connection, my country's Government has repeatedly emphasized the concerns reflected in that report, as well as the resolutions that the General Assembly has adopted in this regard since 1974 and which have been adopted by consensus since its thirty-fifth session in 1980, including the resolution calling for the Middle East and Arabian Gulf are to be declared a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.

Security and stability cannot be established in any region through endeavors to acquire weapons of mass destruction. On the contrary, they can be established only through cooperation and consultation among states in a manner that shows due regard for the concerns and interests of each party to promote human and economic development and prosperity and avert an arms race for such horrendous weapons.

Consequently, Israel's possession of nuclear weapons constitutes a fundamental obstacle to the achievement of security and stability in the Middle Eastern region.  The justifications that it has cited for its acquisition and development of weapons of mass destruction, and especially nuclear weapons, are manifestly and totally inconsistent with its alleged desire to achieve peace with the peoples and states of the region.

With regard to the crisis concerning the Iranian nuclear file, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the international endeavors to find a peaceful solution to this crisis through dialogue in such a way as to guarantee the right of Iran and other states in the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the procedural safeguards, and under the supervision, of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We hope that Iran will respond to these endeavors in order to put an end to the crisis as soon as possible.

Real peace must be based on trust, proof of good intentions on the part of all the states and peoples of the region and their freedom from injustice, occupation and the commission of odious crimes.  It cannot be based on the possession of, or threat to use, nuclear weapons or the imposition of a policy of fait accompli and hegemony which would constitute a source of concern and pose a threat not only to the peoples of the region but to international peace and security as a whole.  Engagement by any state of the region in a nuclear arms race would close any window of opportunity for the establishment of regional peace and security, which form an integral part of global peace and security. In this regard, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the initiative of the United States to change its nuclear strategy in order to limit the conditions that might prompt it to make use of nuclear weapons. This is a major step towards making such weapons unusable and we hope that it will provide other States with an incentive to renounce their ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mr. President,

On numerous occasions, my country has manifested its rapid responsiveness to the requirements for the preservation of international peace and stability. My country submitted its report to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1540 concerning the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and, in this connection, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed and ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement and the Small Quantities Protocol of 16 June 2005 annexed thereto which entered into effect in regard to the Kingdom on 13 January 2009. The Kingdom, which is among the states that have been targeted by terrorists, also signed the Convention on Nuclear Terrorism last year.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave considerable attention to the question of its accession to that and other conventions seeking to preserve international peace and security and has urged all peace-loving states to take the initiative by acceding to such conventions and helping the international community to build a society free of weapons of mass destruction in keeping with its realization of the need for peaceful coexistence and cooperation among states in the interests of mankind and in order to preserve human achievements and potential.  With a view to helping to establish peace and security as a mode of coexistence among peoples and nations and minimizing the risks of the outbreak of wars in which internationally prohibited weapons might be used, the Kingdom has participated in international efforts to prevent the proliferation, and ensure the elimination, of weapons of mass destruction. Our meeting today, aimed at the creation of a strategic climate, is an earnest step in the right direction to prevent nuclear materials from being smuggled and falling into the hands of terrorist organizations.

In this connection, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has supported the United Nations resolutions concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which are adopted every year by the General Assembly, such as the follow-up on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, concerning the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, the resolution concerning the adoption of measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and the resolution concerning a road map for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Kingdom has also supported regional resolutions on this subject, particularly the resolution concerning the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and the resolution on the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. In addition, the Kingdom has participated in the periodic meetings of the drafting committee on a convention to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction since the establishment of that committee in 1994.  Most regrettably, however, we are still suffering from the basic stimulus for an escalation of tension and increased scope for a nuclear arms race in the Middle Eastern region in which some states are showing an inclination to acquire nuclear weapons on the pretext of creating a form of military strategic balance, which could once again give rise to a cold-war environment. Such inclinations will only aggravate the state of anxiety, tension and instability with which the region has been afflicted for many decades. Accordingly, we urge the international community to support the endeavors aimed at curbing such dangerous inclinations, which could entail catastrophic consequences for the region's peace and security, and to focus on creating a climate of security and stability which would increase the opportunities for the successful implementation of development plans throughout the Middle East.

In conclusion, Mr. President, it is my hope that, under your wise guidance, this important conference will prove successful and, God willing, lead to constructive and fruitful steps towards the achievement of results that will help to ensure peace and stability for the international community, which is dire need thereof.

Thank you, Mr. President.