Netanyahu to skip Nuclear Security Summit next week

Netanyahu to skip Nuclear Security Summit next week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AFP

The international summit on nuclear security beginning on April 12, convened by US President Barack Obama, is being attended by leaders of more than 40 countries including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"In the last 24 hours, the Israeli government has learned of various reports from various sources on the intention of several states attending the conference not only to deal with the issue at hand, but to take the opportunity to make a point of grand-standing against Israel and the issue of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty," a Israeli official was quoted as saying by The Politico.

The summit would be attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, instead of Netanyahu.

"The prime minister was dismayed at this, and decided to stick to the Israeli policy that Israel is usually represented at these types of conferences at the professional-ministerial level," the official said.

The White House on the other hand welcomed the Israeli decision and participation of Meridor.

"Israel is a close ally and we look forward to continuing to work closely on issues related to nuclear security," National Security Council spokesman Michael Hammer said.

"This is a summit focused on addressing the security of nuclear materials and geared toward having the participants take practical measures to ensure that terrorists cannot get access to those materials," he said.

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