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Obama: 2012 Middle East nuclear conference won't single out Israel

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Proposed conference would be aimed at creating a nuclear-free Middle East
  • President Obama is an organizer of the proposed conference
  • Attempts to single out Israel would make such a conference unlikely, White House says

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama assured visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that an international conference on creating a nuclear-free Middle East, planned for 2012, would not single out Israel, which is believed to have a nuclear arsenal.

A White House statement issued after Obama and Netanyahu met at the White House said the president, as an organizer of the conference, emphasized it would only take place "if all countries feel confident that they can attend, and that any efforts to single out Israel will make the prospects of convening such a conference unlikely."

In addition, Obama told Netanyahu that the United States will continue working closely with Israel to ensure that arms control initiatives and policies don't hinder Israel's security, the White House statement said.