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Statement by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov Regarding Libya's Decision to Give Up Its Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs

20-12-2003

Moscow has received with satisfaction the statement by the Libyan leadership that Tripoli is giving up its plans to develop and produce weapons of mass destruction and is ready for the widest cooperation in this area with the international community. The Russian side had invariably called for this in the framework of its contacts with the Libyan partners for the last few years. We welcome Libya's declared readiness to sign an Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement Pursuant to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime.

We regard the decision of Tripoli as a responsible step which will help the strengthening of the international nonproliferation regime, as well as the efforts for the consolidation of security in the Middle East and on the African continent. Moscow expects that this will become an important contribution to establishing a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which the world community favors.

The decision of the Libyan leadership, and the recent lifting by UN Security Council of the sanctions against Libya will complete the process of full reintegration of that country into the system of international relations.

This event once again confirms the effectiveness of politico-diplomatic efforts and dialogue in the search of ways to deal with complicated international problems. It has been such measures in the framework of multilateral preventive diplomacy that Russia and most countries of the world have been advocating.

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