Dr. Zerbo counts on Russia
By Vestnik Kavkaza
The recently appointed Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CNTBT), Lassina Zerbo, visited Moscow. After the meeting with the head of the Russian minister for foreign affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Dr. Zerbo gathered journalists. According to him, the CNTBT problems were discussed, considering efforts of the international society in Syria. “Russia can create the right atmosphere, a necessary direction for functioning and supporting international organizations on possible settlement of the Syrian conflict peacefully,” Zerbo insisted.
However, the Preparatory Commission is mostly concerned with North Korea. “This is a country which has several times conducted tests in recent decades. No country except for North Korea has tested nuclear weapon since signing the Treaty. Actually it is the only country which does this. We count on the support of Russia in our discussion of the problem with North Korea. We have touched on the issue at the six-party talks how to establish a platform for the Treaty could act in North Korea, for them to join it and not to be isolated.”
Lassina Zerbo emphasizes that the work of his Commission “is not aimed at the isolation of any country from the point of view of the Treaty. We are open for a dialogue. We hold discussions and talks with the countries which are ready to accept the platform of the Treaty. We involve those who haven’t signed it at the technical level. But actually we have had no contacts with North Korea yet. However, Russia has necessary contacts with North Korea, and we hope that relations will be established and we will have an opportunity to discuss the problem with North Korea.”
Dr. Zerbo hopes for contribution of “very important and powerful persons” to the process, including the former foreign minister Igor Ivanov. “We hope that these officials, foreign ministers, former premiers, will share their experience, reputation, wisdom, vision of the situation and contribute to settlement of the problem, enabling us to move forward at the top level to establish contacts and invite the sides to a discussion for making the countries to sign and ratify the Treaty. I hope in the end we will fulfill our dream – launch the Treaty.”
The Treaty is signed by 183 and ratified by 159 countries-members of the UN. However, it wasn’t launched because 8 countries didn’t join it – Egypt, Israel, India, Iran, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and the U.S.