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US says conference on WMD-free Middle East cancelled

Published on Nov 24, 2012 7:41 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said on Friday a conference on a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction has been scrapped because of conditions in the region and lack of consensus among the states involved.

The conference, which was mooted in a 2010 review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, was supposed to have been held next month in Finland.

But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said states in the region had been unable to agree on "acceptable conditions for a conference" and she cited "present conditions in the Middle East" as standing in the way.

The announcement comes amid a flare up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, civil war in Syria and an unsettled political situation in Egypt.

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