The Bertrand Russell Peace Russell Foundation supports an important initiative from Greece (see below). A nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East would enhance security in the region and the wider world. For decades, Israel's large nuclear arsenal has created instability, with Saudi Arabia now identified as the latest regional power seeking its own nuclear weapon. A nuclear arms race in the Middle East is of direct concern to the European Union, which abuts the region in the Eastern Mediterranean. So, as Greece prepares to assume the rotating Presidency of the EU in January 2014, it is vital that the Greek Government keeps in mind the interests and concerns of the wider Union and ensures these are represented at the proposed conference in Finland, initiated by the UN under the auspices of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, whenever it takes place. Greece has a vital role to play in securing Europe's peace and security. This cannot be done in absentia, and we trust that the Greek Government will attend in Helsinki.
COMMON DECLARATION ABOUT IRAN
The Hellenic Medical Society against Nuclear and Biochemical Threat (Greek Affiliate of IPPNW) and the Observatory for International Organizations and Globalization (PADOP) consider as a positive development the progress in talks between Iran and the Group 5 +1 countries - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (U.S., Russia, China, France, UK ) and Germany.
We applaud the historic agreement about the Iranian nuclear program and the lifting of some sanctions imposed on that country in the Middle East that have serious consequences for the life and health of people.
This development is a crucial first step for peace in the troubled Middle East. It creates better conditions for flourishing, and promotes the UN initiative to transform the region into a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, with the participation of all countries in the region and for the benefit of all the peoples (Israelis and Palestinians included).
In the light of this development we believe that the absence of Greece in the international initiatives for peace in the Middle East is a big mistake. Finland has again stirred the initiative for an international conference in mid December 2013 on the conversion of the Middle East zone free of nuclear and other WMD.
We suggest that Greek government should participate in this conference, even if only as an observer.
Panos Trigazis, President of PADOP
Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou, President of the Greek affiliate of IPPNW