´Less focus on Israel expected at nuclear summit´ (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 03/20/12)
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Israel is less concerned than it was two years ago that the Arab
world will pounce on it over its reported nuclear capabilities at the
upcoming Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul because the Arab countries
who led the charge in the past – Egypt, Syria and Libya – are not the
same today, a head of Israel´s Atomic Energy Commission said on
"Egypt is not the same Egypt, Syria is not the same Syria, Libya is
not the same Libya," said David Danieli, deputy director of the IAEC.
He said if there was concern before the last Nuclear Security Summit
in Washington 2010 that Israel would be the center of attention, the
situation is different today.
"A lot of water has flowed through the Jordan since then," he
said. "That concern does not exist today."
Israel will be represented at the nuclear summit next week by
Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor, the same minister who
represented Israel at the inaugural event in Washington in 2010,
which was attended by dozens of government heads.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, however, was one head of
government who did not attend, with Israeli officials at the time
saying that the reason was because he was afraid that if he was there
the Arab states would use the opportunity not to discuss nuclear
terrorism, but rather to bash Israel for its reported nuclear
Danieli said there was no dramatic reason why Meridor – who attended
the first meeting – will be attending this one as well. "Today there
is no active reason why the prime minster is not participating," he
Although some heads of state will be in attendance, notably US
President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many other countries are
sending lower level ministers, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and a
number of European countries.
Danieli´s remarks came at a rare briefing for journalists held at the
Sorek Nuclear Research Center located near Yavne. . The briefing was
an apparent attempt by the IAEC to show transparency before the Seoul
The reactor at Sorek is the smaller of Israel´s two nuclear reactors,
the other located at Dimona. While Israel does allow two
international inspections of the Sorek facility a year, it does not
allow inspections at the Dimona reactor.
Israel is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, though
Danieli said the country does support the treaty´s goals. He repeated
Israel´s position that it is too early to speak about a nuclear free
Middle East, and that this must come within the context of an overall
Danieli also said that plans call for the 5-Megawatt nuclear reactor
at Sorek to be phased out by 2018, and replaced by a unique
electricity-based particle accelerator purchased from Germany that
would serve many of the same research and medical functions as the
current reactor. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/20/12)
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