VIENNA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for more efforts to support the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
"The Middle East should not be threatened by nuclear weapons. This is the common call from countries in the region," Li Song, China's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a meeting of the agency's board of governors on Wednesday.
Li said China has been actively supporting the region's efforts to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs.
Li urged Israel to accede to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state "as soon as possible" and to place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards of the IAEA.
He called on relevant countries in the region and nuclear-weapon states to shoulder their responsibilities and participate in the process of establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs within the framework of the United Nations.
The Chinese envoy also urged all parties to step up diplomatic efforts and find solutions through dialogue and consultation so as to help uphold the authority and efficacy of the international non-proliferation regime and safeguard the peace, security and stability in the Middle East region.
At Wednesday's meeting, Li also pointed out that as the latest round of Hamas-Israel conflict has dragged on for over a month, China has been actively promoting peace talks, providing humanitarian assistance and pushing for a ceasefire.
The IAEA board meeting opened on Wednesday and will last till Friday. ■