Israel says nuclear talks depends on political situation in region
Israel's envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog on Friday said the country needs more time to monitor the volatile political situation in the Middle East before deciding whether to attend talks on banning nuclear arms in the region, dpa reported.
"Because of what is going on, we'll have to wait almost until the last moment," Ehud Azoulay told dpa at the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
The nuclear non-proliferation talks to be hosted by Finland under the auspices of the United Nations are scheduled to take place by the end of the year.
Israel has stated that it wants peace and stability in the Middle East before substantial talks on a nuclear-free zone can commence.
Israel "does not enjoy the luxury to test concepts born elsewhere that are strange to the region and its political culture and might put Israel's national security at great risk," the country's atomic energy chief Shaul Chorev said Wednesday in Vienna.
But diplomats have said it would make little sense to meet if Israel fails to join Iran and Arab nations.
Tehran has also yet to announce its attendance.
Arab countries attending the IAEA conference in Vienna this week dropped a planned resolution that would have singled out Israel for not having signed the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty and for being the only country in the region believed to have nuclear arms.
Azoulay said this conciliatory gesture by the Arab countries would make it easier for Israel to consider attending the conference in Finland.