UN says Israel to ratify nuclear test ban treaty

Israel’s prime minister declared Monday that his country is prepared to ratify a treaty banning nuclear tests, a senior U.N. official said after meeting with the Israeli leader. Lassina Zerbo, who heads the U.N. organization created to implement the treaty, told The Associated Press 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 Organization, spoke to the AP by telephone after meeting in Israel with Netanyahu.

He considers ratification by Israel a key step toward a nuclear test-free zone in the Middle East and 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.

Refer to the full article (AP) in The Australian.