U.S. Pushing Israel to Sign Accord on Nuclear Materials?

The United States is reportedly pushing Israel to sign a new treaty barring production of nuclear materials.

The effort comes in the wake of Israel’s refusal to sign the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, which was extended indefinitely at the conclusion of an international gathering at the United Nations earlier this mouth.

Israel said it would sign the NPT only after threats to its existence in the region have been eliminated.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Sunday that even though the United States stood behind Israel in its decision not to sign the NPT, it was pushing Israel to start bilateral talks on halting production of nuclear material, such as plutonium and enriched uranium.

The paper said the United States is also trying to get Pakistan and India to sign the new treaty, which would be called the “Cutoff” treaty. Both of those countries are believed to have nuclear weapons capabilities, but also refused to sign the NPT.

According to the paper, the United States told Israel that the new treaty would not cover the existing supply of nuclear materials.

American sources were quoted as saying that administration officials quietly sounded Egyptian reaction to such an initiative and that senior officials in Cairo said it would be welcomed.

Relations between Israel and Egypt reached a low point in recent months as Egypt publicly pushed for Israel to join the NPT.

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