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IAEA rejects Arab-backed resolution pressuring Israel to join NPT

In diplomatic victory for Western countries, nations vote 58-45 against bid, 27 abstain

Yukiya Amano of Japan, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2014 (AP/Ronald Zak)
Yukiya Amano of Japan, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2014 (AP/Ronald Zak)

The IAEA rejected a resolution Thursday, at an annual conference of the UN atomic agency, circulated by Arab countries criticizing Israel over its alleged nuclear arsenal, in a diplomatic victory for Western states who opposed the initiative.

Nations meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s general conference voted 58-45 against the resolution on Thursday, while 27 abstained.

Backed by 18 Arab states, including Syria, the resolution expressed concern “about the Israeli nuclear capabilities,” urging Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and put its nuclear facilities under international oversight. Israel has never acknowledged that it possesses nuclear weapons.

Separately, the conference voted 117-0, with 13 abstentions, in favor of a resolution submitted by Egypt that called on “all states in the region” to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

On Wednesday, Arab countries circulated the resolution that singled out Israel

The draft echoed previous such resolutions at annual meetings of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

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