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Atomic Energy Agency chief visits Tel Aviv, but no meeting with Netanyahu

February 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, is in Tel Aviv for his first visit to Israel since assuming office last September. According to Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper, Amano will hold a series of meetings with senior Israeli officials, including some from the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, to discuss the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme and Tel Aviv’s fears about it. Israel’s concerns apparently “doubled” after Iran began fuelling its Bushehr nuclear power plant a few days ago. Ha’aretz didn’t mention whether the IAEA chief will discuss Israel’s own nuclear power plant and weapons stockpile.

It is understood that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will not meet Mr. Amano; no reasons have been given, apart from Mr. Netanyahu’s “special vacation”. The Director-General will, however, meet the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, as well as two close aides of Mr. Netanyahu, Moshe Ya’alon and Dan Meridor.