A United Nations-appointed diplomat on Tuesday said he will convene multinational consultations in Switzerland later this month as a potentially key step toward discussing an eventual ban on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
If nations in the region can agree on the terms and objectives of regional discussions, a formal conference on creating a Mideast WMD-free zone could occur in Helsinki, Finland, as early as mid-December, according to international diplomats and expert observers.
Jaakko Laajava, a Finnish envoy who serves as facilitator for the prospective talks, played down continued differences between Israel and its Arab neighbors over the necessity of this month’s multilateral planning session, which is to take place in Glion, a lakeside retreat roughly 60 miles northeast of Geneva.
Speaking at a European Union-sponsored event here in the Belgian capital, he said the Oct. 21-22 meeting near Montreaux would at minimum be a discussion between himself as facilitator and the national conveners of the possible conference — Russia, the United Kingdom and United States.
For more on this story, visit: In Bid to Break Mideast Impasse, WMD Confab Set at Swiss Venue This Month | Global Security Newswire | NTI.