Netanyahu Will Attend U.S. Nuclear Summit

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will join more than 40 world leader's next week at the U.S.-sponsored nuclear security summit in Washington.

Shaul Horev, director-general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and National Security Advisor Uzi Arad will be among the senior officials accompanying the prime minister.

While President Barack Obama plans to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Chinese President Hu Jintao, among others, he will not meet with Netanyahu, citing their recent visit and time constraints.

On Tuesday, Obama presented his administration's nuclear policy, which some analysts believe compromises U.S. national security.

In one of several significant shifts from former President George W. Bush, Obama's policy restricts U.S. use of nuclear arms, rejects the development of new atomic weaponry and calls for more cuts in America's stockpile.

The new policy states that the U.S. military will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if attacked with biological or chemical weapons.

If, however, the government believes the U.S. would be subject to a devastating biological attack, the plan provides the option of reconsidering the use of a nuclear deterrent.

Obama also banned the use of terrorist terminology such as Islamic extremism and jihad ("holy" war) from the policy.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel will not be negatively impacted by the Obama administration's policy shift, especially regarding Iran.

Following a phone call from U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher on Tuesday, Ayalon said the White House will continue to support Israel's traditional policy of ambiguity concerning its nuclear capabilities.

"Israel and the U.S. see eye to eye on the Iranian issue," Ayalon said. "The latest statements from Washington show their patience has been stretched to the limit [by Tehran]," he said.

Because Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Israeli delegation may be subjected to verbal attacks by Arab and Muslim leaders at the summit.

Israel has maintained a policy of ambiguity – not confirming or denying its possession of nuclear weapons, though some experts say Israel has a stockpile of nuclear weapons – as a deterrent policy because it is surrounded by Arab countries traditionally forsworn to its destruction.


AP and The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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