Official: UN atom body plans rare Arab-Israeli talks

August 19, 2011 21:29

VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog chief says he sees "momentum" for his plan to host rare talks between Israel and Arab states about his efforts to rid the world of atomic arms.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he aimed to convene such a discussion forum for Middle East countries later this year, saying November was a "reasonable timeframe."

Participants would debate lessons learnt and relevant experience for the Middle East from the establishment of nuclear weapons free zones in other parts of the world, such as in Africa and Latin America.

Israel and some Arab states have signaled readiness to take part in the meeting, seen as a way to start a dialogue and help build badly needed confidence in the region, diplomats say.

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