Mongolia secured its much coveted status as a “nuclear weapons-free zone” on Monday following talks between UN Security Council members, AFP reports.
The self-declared nuclear free country is landlocked between two nuclear armed countries – Russia and China – which means it had been prohibited from joining a regional bloc free of nuclear arms. Mongolian ambassador to the UN atomic energy agency, Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, told AFP that his country supports “efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons”. He told reporters that Mongolia “does not want its territory to be a vast undefined grey area in this respect,” referring to the fact that it could previously not be recognized as a one-country nuclear weapons free zone. This prompted Russia, China, Britain, France and the US to discuss the matter in “complex talks”.
The talks among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council concluded with a signed declaration which finally recognizes Mongolia as nuclear arms-free. The signed statement pledged “to respect the nuclear weapon free status of Mongolia and not to contribute to any act that would violate it”.