Talks Between Israel, Neighbors on Nuclear-free Mideast Called Off, Diplomatic Sources Say

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the diplomats said that 'the time was not opportune' for such a gathering.

Diplomats said on Saturday that proposed high-level talks between Israel and its Muslim neighbors on a Mideast free of weapons of mass destruction have been called off.

The diplomats said the U.S., one of the organizers, would likely make a formal announcement soon, stating that with tensions in the region high, "the time was not opportune" for such a gathering.

The meeting, to be held in Helsinki by the year's end, was on shaky ground since it was agreed to in 2010 by the 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The decision to scrap it cast doubt on the significance of the NPT conference and its attempts every five years to advance nonproliferation.

The diplomats demanded anonymity on Saturday because they were not authorized to divulge the cancellation ahead of the formal announcement.