Held in Tunis from December 13-15, 1994, this plenary session of the arms control working group included delegations from Israel, 12 Arab countries, and the Palestinians. Egypt presented a proposal to form a working group to negotiate aspects of arms control of weapons for mass destruction, as well as space-based and conventional weapons. Under this proposal, discussions were to be held on the establishment of a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East, including a system to verify implementation, with the collaboration of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The proposed declaration of principles on arms control and regional security was still being negotiated.
The meeting ended without the parties agreeing on the final wording of a declaration defining security relations in the Middle East. The only differences revolved around the paragraphs on a zone in the Middle East free of WMD, incl ballistic missiles – and on Israeli accession to the NPT, which remained in square brackets. However, agreement was reached on the establishment of three regional security and conflict-prevention centers to be established in Amman, Tunis, and Qatar. A working document was also prepared on the need for prior notification of military exercises. The parties agreed to provide notification of military exercises involving more than 4,000 troops or 110 tanks and to exchange military information. Israel reissued an invitation for Arab nations to visit Israeli military installations.
Operational Basket activities summarized:
- On maritime issues: Plenary approved “Elements of the INCSEA text” and a “Framework for Maritime Search and Rescue”. Canada and the Co-Sponsors urged to implement elements of the framework on a voluntary basis.
- On pre-notification of military activities: a Turkish text was finalized. Final adoption will be complete when all participants (also those who were not in Tunis) confirm their acceptance.
- On a communications network, the Netherlands reported on the Dead Sea meeting: 6 takers, SAP adopted, in region training in Cairo in January