Meridor: Israel not mentioned at nukes summit


WASHINGTON (JTA) — No one has publicly discussed Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons capability at the summit in Washington, the leader of Israel’s delegation said.

"We are not the central topic here, the main topic is preventing nuclear terror," Dan Meridor, the deputy Israeli prime minister said. "No one has mentioned us, even among those you might expect to."

Meridor, speaking to Israeli reporters on Tuesday afternoon, cautioned that the conference was not yet over, but his report seemed to undercut the explanation advisers gave for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute decision not to attend. The advisers had said it was Israel’s understanding that Arab and Muslim nations would call for greater transparency from Israel on the nuclear issue.

Meridor said he exchanged a friendly greeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s policy of "opacity" — refusing to confirm or deny reports that it has up to 200 nuclear warheads.

Meridor said the atmosphere was "good, one of cooperation," and that Israel’s attendance as one of 47 nations spoke to its status among advanced nations. "This is a substantial forum of nations that wish to preserve the international order," he said.

Meridor said the Israeli delegation had a brief meeting with President Obama.

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