Mideast Nuke Talks Between Israel, Neighbors Called Off [Report]

Attempts to find common ground and peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors have suffered a setback as talks about banning weapons of mass destruction from the Mideast have been called off, according to diplomats on Saturday.

The two diplomats, who spoke about the talks under the condition that their names would not be released, stated that the United States, who helped organize the talks, would likely announce the dissolution of talks in the next few days, reports Boston.com.

They will likely cite the high tensions in the region, adding that “time is not opportune” to convene for talks about nuclear weapons in the Mideast.

The meeting was supposed to be held in Helsinki, Finland, by the end of 2012 and has been on shaky ground since it was first agreed to in 2010 by the 189 member nations in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Its key sponsors were the US, Russia, and Britain, but they said that the meeting would only be possible if all countries (including Israel) would agree to attend.

The Huffington Post notes that hopes for the talks were still alive as of Tuesday when Iran joined Arab nations in saying it would attend the meeting, leaving Israel the only undecided country. Unfortunately the officials stated that Iran’s decision to attend came after leaders decided to cancel the meeting.

Because the NPT only meets every five years, there will likely not be another attempt at talks between the nations until at least 2015. Daryl Kimball, head of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, stated that “an indefinite cancellation of the long-awaited conference on a Middle Eastern WMD-free zone will only worsen the proliferation risks in the future and undermine the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.”