Israel Denies it Agreed to Discuss a Nuclear-Free Middle East


general-conference-of-the-iaeaIsrael said Wednesday there has been no change in its position regarding a nuclear-free Middle East, and that it has not received an invitation to a conference on the matter, sources at the Israeli Nuclear Agency told Haaretz. Their statement comes after the Associated Press reported Israel and Arab countries agreed in principle to attend a conference hosted by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Israel has said for more than a decade that it is ready in principle to hold an unbinding discussion, but not negotiations on “learning from others about the experience of establishing of a nuclear-free zone.” Yet the stance of Arab countries has been that such discussions must be a binding forum, where decisions are made under the supervision of the IAEA.

The IAEA has not received any information regarding a shift in the Arab countries’ stance, raising doubts about the information obtained by AP.

But even if IAEA chief Yukiya Amano succeeds in holding a conference, it will not be a direct continuation of the UN conference that convened in New York less than a year ago and discussed the need to update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The UN conference, in which Israel did not take part because it is not a signatory, ended with a call for a nuclear-free Middle East. Nuclear-free zones exist in the Pacific Ocean, Central and South America and certain areas in Asia.

{Haaretz/ Newscenter}


  1. How to kill four birds with one stone…

    Merge the upcoming UN General Assembly Meeting with the stalled NPT Conference, Pope Benedict’s Assisi Initiative and Alain Juppe’s Paris Discussion Idea into an international Peace Conference to be held in Jerusalem ASAP. Everything is ready. Any objective reader of the world situation would have to agree that collective vision, courage and trust building is needed right now. There is plenty of time and space. World Peace 2050 is a valid mission.