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'Significant upgrade.' Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan
'Significant upgrade.' Netanyahu Photo: Gil Yohanan

State official: Obama provided Israel with historic guarantees

Following NPT conference's unprecedented decision to name Israel as country whose nuclear facilities must be inspected, with US endorsement, State official claims President Obama provided Netanyahu with unequivocal assurances for Israel's strategic abilities

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 05.30.10, 23:35 / Israel News

State officials are trying to send calming messages following the US's endorsement of a nuclear-free Middle East resolution advanced by the NPT conference, which named Israel as a country whose facilities must be placed under inspection. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in the White House later this week amid recent tensions.


"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received unequivocal guarantees from Obama for the State of Israel's preservation of strategic and deterring abilities," a senior State official said. "These assurances include a significant upgrade in the history of US-Israel relations in the line of strategic understandings."


The source noted that the US had effectively promised Israel that no decision made by the NPT conference would harm Israel's vital interests.


The 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Friday adopted a detailed plan of small steps down a long road toward nuclear disarmament, which includes naming Israel as a state whose nuclear facilities must be placed under inspection.


The 28-page Final Declaration was approved by consensus on the last day of the month-long conference, convened every five years to review and advance the objectives of the 40-year-old NPT.


State officials also mentioned that Netanyahu has spent the last couple of months making sure that the NPT resolution won't have a practical effect on Israel's security.


"This activity included contacts between the prime minister and the US president, intense daily contacts between the Prime Minister's Office and the White House and professional contacts between the Israeli lower strategic ranks and their American counterparts," the State official said.


He also added that as part of these efforts Netanyahu had decided as early as April to not attend the NPT conference in Washington and that Defense Minister Ehud Barak discussed the matter with Obama in the White House shortly thereafter.


News agencies contributed to this report


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