Douglas Hamilton and Dan Williams
April 9, 2010
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled a planned trip to Washington next week for President Barack Obama’s 47-country nuclear security conference.
He made the decision after learning Egypt and Turkey intended to raise the issue of Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal at the meeting, a senior government official said on Friday.
Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, but has never confirmed or denied it. It has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Netanyahu saw Obama at the White House late last month to discuss the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But they failed to see eye to eye and bilateral ties remain strained.
“The prime minister has decided to cancel his trip to Washington to attend the nuclear conference next week, after learning that some countries including Egypt and Turkey plan to say Israel must sign the NPT,” the official said.