Israel rejects plea of 189 countries
After the United Nations ratified a resolution calling for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moves to condemn the treaty.
The attack came after all 189 signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) reached a deal on Friday for the establishment of a Middle East without nukes.
The 28-page statement by the NPT members — which was agreed upon following a month of wrangling — called on all Middle East nations to attend a conference on ridding the region of weapons of mass destruction due to be held in 2012.
The Friday’s agreement also stressed “the importance of Israel’s accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.”
Reacting to the ratification, the Israeli prime minister issued a statement on Saturday announcing that Israel would not participate in the 2012 conference.
“Israel will not be able to take part in its [the resolution] implementation,” AFP quoted Netanyahu as saying in the statement.
He went on to call the NPT resolution “deeply flawed and hypocritical,” adding that, “It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.”
Israel is widely believed to be the sixth-largest nuclear power in the world and the sole possessor of an atomic arsenal in the Middle East.
For 40 years, with the help of the United States, Israel has successfully prevented its undeclared arsenal of approximately 200 atomic warheads from becoming public.
Meanwhile, the administration of US President Barack Obama earlier on Friday denounced the UN decision, expressing its strong opposition to the proposal of the inclusion of Israel in the NPT.