Iran, Israel Attended Middle East Nuclear Meeting

GENEVA (Reuters) -

Iran, Israel and Arab states took part in a meeting two weeks ago about prospects for an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, diplomats said on Tuesday, a rare such gathering of regional adversaries.

They gave no details about the Oct. 21-22 meeting in the Swiss village of Glion near Montreux. An Israeli official said various envoys set out their national positions, but Israel had no direct communication with Iranian and Arab delegates.

An Arab diplomat told Reuters: “That they were there, the Israelis and Iran, is the main thing.” The discussions were also attended by representatives of the United States and some Arab states, the diplomat added, without naming them.

There were 13-14 delegations around the table and Finnish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary of State Jaakko Laajava, who is charged with organizing the Middle East conference, was among the participants, another diplomat said.

The discussions were “quite constructive,” the diplomat said, adding that another meeting was likely later this month, although it was still unclear exactly who would attend.