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FM CALLS FOR CURBING SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

The international community should use every means to prevent the further spread and use of nuclear weapons, the foreign minister said in New York late on Monday. In his address to a review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Péter Szijjártó noted Hungary’s security, economic and energy challenges due to the war in Ukraine, according to a foreign ministry statement. Hungary, he added, has so far received 870,000 refugees from Ukraine. He called on the international community to focus their efforts on achieving peace in Ukraine as “the only solution” to the problems arising from the conflict. The Ukraine war makes it even more important to prevent nuclear arms from being further deployed in the world, Szijjártó said, and warned that the conflict posed an increased threat of nuclear escalation.
Hungary’s interests would be severely undermined if the world were again divided into blocs, he said, stressing the importance of maintaining a dialogue between East and West, especially on strategic issues. The breakdown of dialogue between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council was, he said, “regrettable”, and he called on the P5 to resume talks to avoid possible further tensions.
Szijjártó said the peaceful uses of nuclear energy were more crucial than ever before. He said nuclear energy production was cost-effective, climate-friendly, secure and stable, and could reduce Hungary’s vulnerability to fluctuations on the global energy markets. Possible sanctions concerning nuclear energy must be avoided, he said, adding that such measures would curb sovereign powers to define countries’ energy mix. The minister called for full commitment to the NPT, and said Hungary would assume its share of related joint efforts.
Szijjártó met his Argentinian and Bangladeshi counterparts, as well as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, after the conference. The minister said several international organisations and countries shared Hungary’s standpoint, adding that cooperation between Hungary and the IAEA was “excellent”. He said the IAEA had an ever growing role in protecting the peaceful, civilian use of nuclear energy. He said a deal was reached with Argentina, Bangladesh and the IAEA to join forces “to ensure that nuclear energy does not at all fall prey to the political crisis … taking place in the world.”