PM withdraws from nuclear conference
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend the world nuclear conference in Washington next Monday, it was announced last night. The prime minister pulled out after reports that Egypt, Turkey and other Muslim states were expected to lobby the conference for international supervision of Israel's nuclear facilities in Dimona and Nahal Sorek.
Intelligence Affairs Minister Dan Meridor will represent Israel at the conference instead of Netanyahu. Meridor will be accompanied by Atomic Energy Committee director Shaul Horev and National Security Advisor Uzi Arad.
The United States, which is organizing the conference, warned Israel that a number of Arab and Muslim leaders were going to urge the international community to supervise Israel's nuclear facilities and pressure it to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A senior source in Jerusalem told Haaretz yesterday Israel was disappointed by the developments.
The source said Netanyahu was very displeased by these states' intention to attack Israel. "The nuclear conference was intended to deal with coping with the nuclear terror threat. Israel is partner to this effort and accepted President Barack Obama's invitation to take part in the conference," the source said.