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Netanyahu’s refusal to attend summit understandable

10 April 2010 0:33

The United States says it welcomes an Israeli delegation to an upcoming security summit in Washington despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to attend it.

US National Security Adviser General Jim Jones said Friday that President Barack Obama understands Netanyahu’s decision to refuse to attend the summit next week in Washington.

“We obviously would like to have the prime minister but the deputy prime minister will be leading the delegation and it will be a robust Israeli delegation,” Haaretz quoted Jones as saying.

Netanyahu cancelled his planned visit to Washington after receiving reports that Egypt and Turkey had planned to raise Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenals and to demand the regime’s signatory to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“We welcome Deputy Prime Minister Meridor’s participation in the conference. Israel is a close ally and we look forward to continuing to work closely on issues related to nuclear security,” said Mike Hammer, White House National Security Council spokesman.

Obama will host more than 40 countries to the summit on April 12 and 13 in Washington.

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