Atomic agency chief warns of Mideast 'imbalance'

6th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 6 (AFP) - International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday expressed concern about the high level of frustration in the Middle East, which he attributed to a perceived "security imbalance".

PARIS, May 6 (AFP) - International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday expressed concern about the high level of frustration in the Middle East, which he attributed to a perceived "security imbalance".

"I was struck by the amount of frustration, cynicism that exists in the region as the result of what they perceive as the security imbalance," ElBaradei told the French National Assembly's foreign affairs committee.

"Here is Israel sitting on a nuclear capability and all of them are asked not only to adopt the line with regard to non-proliferation, but even to accept additional obligations," he added.

"That sense of insecurity, frustration, they refer to it as 'double standards', permeates the Middle East," warned the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, who is due to visit Israel in the coming months.

"That is worrying. I realize that we really need to do something about that," he added.

ElBaradei was due to meet later Thursday with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier for talks on "ways to reinforce the nuclear non-proliferation regime," according to ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous.

ElBaradei is expected to visit the Jewish state - which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - in July, Israel's ambassador to the IAEA said.

© AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article