Steinitz Meets Shakoury on Sidelines of Nuclear Security Summit


For the first time in several years, an Israeli minister has had a face-to-face meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz met informally in Washington on Thursday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit at the White House.

The meeting focused on various regional issues, including the possibility of Israel supplying Egypt with natural gas, and cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism, Steinitz’s office said.

Also representing Israel were the head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, Zeev Snir; the deputy head of the National Security Council, Yaakov Nagel; and a delegation from the Foreign Ministry.

Evidence that surfaced last week of Islamic State surveillance on Belgium’s nuclear scientists has imparted an unusual sense of urgency to this fourth in a series of U.S.-hosted conferences on nuclear security.

However, there is no information on a specific Islamic State plot to obtain or use radioactive material.

“Certainly the video footage [of the ISIS surveillance activity] is of concern and suggests that there is at least some interest by [Islamic State],” Laura Holgate, senior director for weapons of mass destruction and arms control on Obama’s National Security Council, told reporters in a phone call on Tuesday.

“But we don’t have any indications that it was part of a broader planning to acquire nuclear materials, and we don’t have any information that a broader plot exists.”