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Israeli Backing of Treaty Draws Accolades from U.S.

American officials believe that Israel’s support for the wording of a U.N. nuclear test ban treaty could help secure the backing of other Middle Eastern countries.

Foreign Minister David Levy this week informed John Holm, the visiting director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, that Israel had decided to support the text of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Holm said he believed that Israel’s backing was “very important in securing regional support.” He added the hope that Egypt would also throw its backing behind the treaty.

Negotiations for hammering out the final language of the treaty, which calls for a complete ban on all nuclear testing, took place this week in Geneva.

While Levy accepted the wording of the treaty, he asked that an appendix be added to prevent it from being exploited by some countries to demand international checks of Israel’s nuclear facilities.

Israel, which refuses to confirm or deny its possession of nuclear weapons, has resisted pressures from a number of countries, including Egypt, to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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