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Israel rejects U.N. conference resolution on non-proliferation

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.N. non-proliferation conference calls for nuclear-free Mideast
  • Document calls for Israel to sign non-proliferation treaty
  • Israel objects to being singled out, says it won't participate
  • U.S. official "deplores" singling out of Israel, no mention of Iran

United Nations (CNN) -- The final document from the just-completed U.N. review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "not only fails to advance regional security but actually sets it back," the Israeli government said in a statement released Saturday.

The month-long conference, which ended Friday, called for a 2012 conference of all Middle Eastern states to move forward on a 1995 proposal for a nuclear-free Mideast. The document also calls on Israel to sign the treaty and place "all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards."

Israel is not a member of the NPT and has neither confirmed nor denied that it has a nuclear weapons stockpile.

The Israeli government statement calls the conference's document "deeply flawed and hypocritical" and "ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world." The statement also complains that Israel is singled out in the document and Iran, which is a signatory to the NPT, is not mentioned.

"The real problem with Weapons Of Mass Destruction in the Middle East does not relate to Israel but to those countries that have signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and brazenly violated it -- Iraq under Sadaam, Libya, Syria and Iran," the statement said. "That is why the resolution adopted by the NPT Review Conference not only fails to advance regional security but actually sets it back."

The United States signed onto the final document Friday, but National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones later laid out "serious reservations." Jones said the United States supports the idea of a nuclear-free Mideast but believes it must wait for "a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations."

Jones said the United States and the United Kingdom had agreed to co-sponsor the 2012 conference to ensure that it takes into consideration the issues of all countries in the region and that the consent of all countries in the region is achieved for any action.

"The United States will not permit a conference or actions that could jeopardize Israel's national security. We will not accept any approach that singles out Israel or sets unrealistic expectations," said Jones, adding that the United States "deplores the decision to single out Israel" and "the failure of the resolution to mention Iran."

In its statement, Israel noted "the important clarifications that have been made by the United States regarding its policy," but said "the distorted nature of the resolution" would prevent it from participating.

"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this Conference, which has no authority over Israel," the statement said.

The statement added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss the issue with President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington next week.