'World turns blind eye to Israeli nukes'

Ahead of trip to Washington summit, Erdogan opposes scrutiny of Iran.

April 11, 2010 19:10
1 minute read.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the world was turning a blind eye to Israel's nuclear program, adding that he intended to raise the issue at the nuclear summit in Washington.

Erdogan says Iran's nuclear program was being scrutinized because of its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) whereas Israel, which has not signed a nonproliferation treaty (NPT), was "free to do what it wants."

Speaking to reporters before his departure for Washington, Erdogan said, "We are disturbed by this and will say so."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called off his trip to Washington because he believed Turkey and other Muslim nations would turn the issue of Israel's reported nuclear program into the focus of the global summit.

Meanwhile on Sunday, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Israel has much to contribute to this week's nuclear security summit, even though Netanyahu declined to attend.

Clinton said the world's biggest concern on nuclear security was that terrorists would get control of material with which to build atomic bombs. She stressed that Israel can do much to help thwart that.

Israel will be represented at US President Barack Obama's conference by its deputy prime minister.

Clinton's comments were aired in interviews with NBC's "Meet the Press" and ABC's "This Week."

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