JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel rejected the final document of a United Nations review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, saying that by singling out Israel it "ignores the realities of the Middle East."
The monthlong conference ended last Friday. The conference’s final resolution called for a conference on establishing a nuclear-free Middle East to take place in 2012. It also called on Israel, which has never confirmed or denied that it has a nuclear weapons arsenal, to sign on to the treaty and allow the United Nations nuclear watchdog group to inspect its facilities. Iran was not mentioned in the resolution.
The United States, which agreed to co-sponsor the 2012 conference with Britain, Russia and the U.N. secretary-general, backed the final resolution.
In a statement released late Friday, U.S. National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, said that "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. The United State’s long-standing position on Middle East peace and security remains unchanged, including its unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security."
Jones said the United States "deplores the decision to single out Israel in the Middle East section" of the document, and also deplores "the failure of the resolution to mention Iran, a nation in longstanding violation of the NPT and U.N. Security Council Resolutions which poses the greatest threat of nuclear proliferation in the region."
The government of Israel released a statement Saturday night regarding the conference: "(T)he resolution adopted by the NPT Review Conference not only fails to advance regional security but actually sets it back."
"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this Conference, which has no authority over Israel. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation."