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New effort to break deadlock on nuke-free Mideast

October 8, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Middle East countries are planning to meet later this month to try to break a deadlock over holding a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the highly volatile region.

Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the department for security and disarmament affairs in Russia’s Foreign Ministry, told a U.N. meeting Tuesday that efforts to hold a meeting have failed so far because “we have one shortcoming — Israel was not a party.”

Israel refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear bombs though it is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal and it has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Ulyanov said all Mideast countries have been invited to a meeting in Glion, Switzerland on Oct. 21-22 to discuss arrangements for a conference.

Update hourly