GCC plans center to monitor nuke radiation
November 11, 2012
RIYADH –Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are working to establish a center to monitor nuclear radiation so as to avoid nuclear hazards from the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, said GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif Al-Zayani here Saturday.
Al-Zayani was addressing the opening ceremony of the third annual regional seminar on the fight against weapons of mass destruction entitled “Challenges When Radiological or Nuclear Incidents Happen.”
Experts from the United States, the GCC countries, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen are taking part in the five-day seminar organized by the Ministry of Defense in cooperation with the US Central Command.
Al-Zayani said the GCC seeks to achieve five strategic goals: The protection of the GCC countries against all regional and international threats, achievement of economic growth, maintenance of a high level of human resources development, improvement in crises management and tackling emergencies, and strengthening the position of the GCC regionally and internationally.
The secretary general stressed that the GCC countries face a number of regional and international challenges which call for the creation of more opportunities to strengthen cooperation between them and friendly countries. It is the right of all countries to possess and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and under its supervision, he said.
“The GCC countries give priority to strengthening and enhancing their joint capabilities, such as the Peninsula Shield Force, the establishment of a regional maritime center and the establishment of an air missile defense which ensures joint response to all biological and radiological threats,” said Al-Zayani.
In his speech, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hussein Bin Abdullah Al-Qabil highlighted the Kingdom’s stability.
Brigadier General Saleh Musleh Al-Shahrani stressed that the Kingdom remains committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as it is a country of peace. But at the same time the Kingdom is working on a strategy for a national program for the peaceful use of atomic energy as an alternative source of energy, he added.
The Deputy Director of Strategic Plans and Policy at the US Central Command said that the seminar gains added importance in the light of what is happening in the region.