July 06, 2010

Obama Indirectly Endorses Israeli Nuclear Stance US President Barack Obama took the initiative to indirectly reaffirm the Israeli policy of nuclear ambiguity during his press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite signing on to a statement at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May that called for Israel by name to join the NPT, a step that could force them to give up any nuclear weapons. According to a transcript posted on the White House Web site, while commenting on their discussions about the nuclear non-proliferation conference, Obama said, “I reiterated to the Prime Minister that there is no change in US policy when it comes to these issues. We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in and the threats that are leveled against it, that Israel has unique security requirements. It’s got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region.” “And that's why we remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security. And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine their security interests.” Though Obama fell short of explicitly approving of Israel’s decision not to disclose whether or not it possesses nuclear weapons, his decision not to also attach to his statement a call for Israel to join the NPT stood out. While he may not accept Israel’s position, it appears the US will at the least not force the Jewish state to change their approach.


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