Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a planned trip to Washington next week for President Barack Obama’s 47-country nuclear security summit conference.
He made the decision after learning Egypt and Turkey intended to raise the issue of Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal at the conference, a senior government official said on Friday.
Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East but has never confirmed or denied that it possesses atomic weapons. It has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or NPT.
Netanyahu saw Obama at the White House late last month for talks on the stalled Middle East peace process with the Palestinians, but they failed to see eye to eye and relations between the two leaders remain at a low ebb.
“The prime minister has decided to cancel his trip to Washington to attend the nuclear conference next week, after learning that some countries including Egypt and Turkey plan to say Israel must sign the NPT,” the official said.