VIENNA — Talks on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons looked in doubt on Tuesday as the Western official organising them said he had yet to secure the needed attendance of all countries in the region.
The statement by Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava at a meeting in Vienna was a sign of the difficulties involved in getting Israel, its arch foe Iran and other Middle East nations to sit around a table this year to discuss the divisive issue.
Laajava, whose appointment was announced by the United Nations last October, did not say which countries were still leaving their attendance unclear, but both Iran and Israel are believed to be among them.
Underlining the deep divisions on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, Iran and Arab states used the Vienna meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to repeat their criticism of Israel over its assumed atomic…
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