IAEA assembly votes against resolution to censure Israel

By BY JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 24, 2010 15:16

Arab-sponsored resolution urging Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which would open its nuclear activities to inspection narrowly defeated at annual assembly of UN's nuclear watchdog.

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IAEA annual assembly in Vienna

IAEA 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

VIENNA — A 151-nation meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency narrowly voted against an Arab push to censure Israel for not opening up its nuclear activities to inspection on Friday.

Of nations present, 51 voted against a resolution called "Israeli Nuclear Capabilities." Fifty-one voted for, and 23 abstained. The rest were absent.

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The vote was closely watched after last year's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency passed the same resolution by a small margin.

The US and other allies of Israel had argued passage would threaten ongoing Mideast peace talks and the chances of a planned 2012 conference on a Mideast nuclear-free zone. Islamic nations and their supporters said the resolution was meant to move chances of creating such a zone forward.

Prior to the vote, Israel warned the IAEA against accepting the Arab-sponsored resolution urging Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to open its nuclear activities to inspection, Reuters reported on Friday.

During a debate at the annual assembly of the UN's nuclear watchdog in Vienna, an Israeli delegate, Ehud Azoulay, stated that the resolution could deal a "fatal blow" to future cooperation on boosting Middle East security.

Egypt accused Israel on Wednesday of displaying "chutzpah" — blatant shamelessness — in unusually harsh comments at a 151-nation meeting on the issue of a nuclear-free Mideast.

The remarks at the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference reflect the bitterness dividing Arab nations and Israel and its supporters over whether Israel should open up its nuclear program to the UN watchdog's perusal.

The Egyptians issued the statement Wednesday after Israel accused Egypt of unfairly singling out the Jewish state while ignoring its own commitments to the IAEA.


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