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Obama: Israel, others should join nukes treaty

JTA

April 14, 2010 | 1:20 pm

President Obama expects Israel and other nations to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“As far as Israel goes, I’m not going to comment on their program,” Obama said at a news conference Tuesday concluding his summit on nuclear security.  “What I’m going to point to is the fact that consistently we have urged all countries to become members of the NPT.”

Obama outlined his nuclear goals: Countries with nuclear weapons should reduce stockpiles, those without nuclear weapons should not obtain them, and all countries should have access to nuclear energy.

“And so whether we’re talking about Israel or any other country, we think that becoming part of the NPT is important,” he said. “And that, by the way, is not a new position.  That’s been a consistent position of the United States government even prior to my administration.”

Israel’s reported nuclear weapons program was in place before 1970, when the NPT came into force, which would theoretically exempt Israel from the conditions that new signatories must not have weapons.

However, it also would require transparency; Israel’s policy is currently one of not confirming or denying reports that it maintains up to 200 nuclear warheads.

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