Egypt Foreign Minister Calls for a Nuclear-free Middle East

Nabil Fahmy tells UNGA that Egypt welcomed the American effort to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; calls on Israel to ensure Gazans have access to basic supplies.

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Egypt's interim foreign minister has called for a nuclear-free Middle East in his address to world leaders at the United Nations.

Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday that Egypt's latest political transition, including presidential and parliamentary elections, will end "by next spring."

Fahmy is part of an interim government installed by the country's powerful military after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.

He is calling for all Mideast countries to declare their support for a region "free from weapons of mass destruction, as well as from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

Concerning the Palestinians, Fahmy said that Egypt welcomes and appreciates the American efforts to restart the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations.

"Egypt will continue to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and the establishment of an independent and sovereign state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and relevant peace terms," he said.

Fahmy also said that Egypt was morally compelled to address the plight of the people of Gaza. He called on "Israel and the International community to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza have access to basic supplies."

Earlier this week, Fahmy told The Associated Press that Egypt's relations with the United States are "unsettled" as the country struggles to redefine its national interests.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.Credit: AP

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