US regrets Egypt walk-out at nuclear talks

April 30, 2013 15:42

GENEVA - The United States said on Tuesday it regretted Egypt's decision to walk out of UN talks on non-proliferation and still hoped all sides would agree to hold a conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

Egypt withdrew from nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) talks in Geneva on Monday in protest at what it called the failure to implement a 1995 resolution for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons - an implicit criticism of Israel, believed to be the only nuclear-armed country in the region.

"We regret the Egyptian decision to leave the NPT Preparatory Committee meeting. It does not affect the US commitment to convening a conference on a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction," Thomas Countryman, US Assistant Secretary for International Security and Non-Proliferation, who heads the US delegation, told Reuters.

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