UN Says Israel Ready To Ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

UN Says Israel Ready To Ratify Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

VIENNA: Israel’s Prime Minister has declared that his country is prepared to ratify a treaty banning nuclear tests, a senior UN official said after meeting with the Israeli leader.

Lassina Zerbo, who heads the UN organisation created to implement the treaty, said that Benjamin Netanyahu considers the issue of ratifying the treaty a matter of “when, rather than if.”

Israeli ratification would move the treaty closer to taking effect, leaving only seven holdouts among the 44 countries that must ratify it for the pact to go live.

Zerbo, who heads the Vienna-based Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) , said after meeting in Israel with Netanyahu that he considered ratification by Israel a key step towards a nuclear test-free zone in the Middle East.

He said the commitment by Netanyahu was a first for the Prime Minister after protracted discussions on a technical level between the CTBTO and Israeli experts.

While the Israeli Prime Minister did not commit himself to a specific time-frame for ratification, Zerbo said that is “normal in diplomacy.”


Previously published in DAWN and republished here with permission.