Israeli and Argentine officials will meet in Washington next week to discuss the sale of Argentine nuclear technology to Syria.
Argentine Foreign Minister Guido di Tella said the meeting, scheduled for Aug. 11, is a way of “reassuring Israel about Argentine-Syrian projects in this sensitive field.”
The meeting comes in the wake of di Tella’s recent visit to Israel, during which he indicated that his country would not proceed with the sale if Israel objects. Subsequently, the Argentine government declared its intention to continue the negotiations with Damascus and suggested that the United States was not opposed to the proposed sale.
“The sale of this reactor has not been criticized by Washington,” said Fernando Petrella, Argentine deputy foreign minister.
Argentina called for the meeting in Washington as a way of reassuring Jerusalem and of involving the United States in the matter. U.S. officials are expected to participate in the meeting.
Argentina is likely to assert at the meeting that Syria, unlike Israel, signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, placing all nuclear facilities under international inspection.
Petrella said negotiations with Syria would be suspended “if they disrupt in any way peace negotiations in the Middle East.” In addition, Argentina will demand that Syria sign a formal compromise of not using “any technology to develop an atomic bomb,” he said.
Argentine officials also have confirmed that they will meet with Syria diplomats on Aug. 21 in Buenos Aires to discuss further the sale of a nuclear reactor.