Project on European Nuclear
Non-Proliferation - PENN
12 May 1999
Egypt Proposes Ending NATO Nuclear Sharing
In a strongly worded statement criticizing NATO nuclear strategy, and
the Alliances nuclear sharing arrangements, Egypt has formally proposed that the
Preparatory Committee of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference adopt
an interpretation of the Treaty that would outlaw current NATO practices and possible
future European Union nuclear weapons cooperation.
South Africa also made a statement condemning NATO policies and the revised Strategic
Concept adopted at the recent NATO Summit in Washington DC. These statements followed
others made Monday by the Non-Aligned Movement, Algeria and Mongolia.
Referring to Articles I and II of the NPT, which prohibit the transfer of nuclear weapons
from nuclear weapon states to non-nuclear weapon states, Egypt emphasized that:
|"Neither Article I nor Article II suffer any exceptions.
Notwithstanding the clear and unambiguous nature of Articles I & II
of the NPT, NATOs so-called Nuclear Sharing arrangements and its
concepts regarding nuclear deterrence, as reflected in its latest declaration on the
occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, raise significant doubts over the extent of
compliance of some NATO members with the provisions of both of these Articles and the
extent of conformity and compatibility of commitments undertaken by participants in such
arrangements with the provisions of the NPT. Furthermore, Egypt is concerned about
proposals for a Europeanized nuclear force based on the policy of concerted
deterrence. These questions need to be addressed by these nuclear and non-nuclear
The delegation of Egypt proposes that the PrepCom recommend that the 2000 Review
Conference state in clear and unambiguous terms that Articles I and II of the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons allow for no exceptions and that the NPT is
binding on States Parties in times of peace and in times of war alike."
This would mean an end to the nuclear sharing arrangements under which non-nuclear weapon
states in NATO receive US nuclear weapons and training in their use in support of NATO
military doctrines. NATO argues that since actual control of nuclear weapons would only be
transferred after the outbreak of war, and that the NPT is no longer in force during a
war, that these arrangements are legal.
Criticism of NATO nuclear policies was also supported by South Africa during the
disarmament debate. The South African statement recalled their earlier concerns "..
placed on record at the previous two PrepComs about the non-proliferation implications of
an expanded NATO  in the light of the outcome of the Washington Summit which has, for
the time being, left the policy of nuclear sharing unchanged."
"This initiative by Egypt is very welcome. It would clarify an issue that has been
controversial since the NPT was signed. Adopting this proposal would strengthen the NPT
and the global effort towards nuclear disarmament," said Martin Butcher, on behalf of
the PENN network.
Further details from Martin Butcher in New York on 202-487-4386.
PENN is a international network of non-governmental organizations concerned with nuclear