Kissinger at Peres Conference: Timetable Needed to Combat Global Nuclear Threat

Addressing J'lem presidential conference, ex-U.S. Sec. of State says rise of fundamentalism is historic turning point. hosts Peres' Presidential Conference Web site

In an address at the "Facing Tomorrow" presidential conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned that the nuclear threat facing Israel is in fact a global danger, and urged the international community to forge a specific timetable to combat it.

Kissinger spoke before an audience of world leaders and dignitaries, saying that one of the major global shifts today is the rise of fundamentalism and radicalism. Compounded by the rise in nuclear weapon development, he said, this shift represents a historic turning point.

The Nobel Prize laureate added that the Iranian nuclear threat, besides threatening to destroy Israel, is also an existential threat to the world and must be addressed internationally. He explained that as long as a nation is capable of developing nuclear weapons in defiance of the United Nations Security Council and major world powers, then nuclear capability will consequently spread into many other nations. He stressed that when groups such as the Security Council voice objection to nuclear weapons development, they must do so with specific instructions and a defined timetable, otherwise, the situation will only deteriorate.

Kissinger also addressed the issue China's economic growth and the threat it poses to the U.S. hegemony on the world economy, saying that the issue must be addressed from the vantage point of future cooperation, rather than strategic competition. The world has changed, Kissinger said, and the theories of foreign relations that were valid in the past are now also changing. He cited the cooperation between the European nations within the framework of the European Union as an example of such successful cooperation.

The former secretary of state also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying that it required both sides to be very brave. He added that it was impossible to move forward unless both sides know that a peace agreement is not the end of the road, but rather a starting point for future processes.

It is imperative to maintain the kind of cooperation that Shimon Peres is cultivating, he said.

In conclusion, Kissinger said that it was the joint interest of many world nations to prevent the rise of fundamentalism and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

He added that another international goal was for world nations to cooperate in efforts to advance the research into renewable energy sources and the protection of the environment while raising awareness for new technologies. He said that these were the challenges of tomorrow and that Israel could play an important role in facing them.