Steinitz Lauds PM's Gains in US

Finance Minister says declaration on nuclear cooperation means U.S. recognizes Israel's right to nuclear technology though it did not sign NPT.

Gil Ronen, | updated: 19:10

Nuclear plant (file)
Nuclear plant (file)
Wikimedia Commons

Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz expressed his pleasure Thursday with the results of the meetings between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including a “historic declaration” on nuclear cooperation..

In a morning-time lecture before foreign diplomats in Tel Aviv, Steinitz said that the Prime Minister returned to Israel with two meaningful accomplishments: The first, he said, is “the adoption of the Israeli approach regarding the need for an immediate changeover into direct talks vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority.”

The second accomplishment is “the historic declaration regarding cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear technologies.”

The meaning of the declaration, he said, is “the equalization of Israel's status in this sensitive field with that of India, and American recognition of Israel as a responsible country that can be trusted in the field of nuclear technologies, despite the fact that it is not a signatory of the NPT [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty].”

Observers explained that the declaration could open the door to bringing nuclear technologies into the civilian energy market in Israel. This option was not available to Israel until now because of its refusal to sign the NPT.