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Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters in respect of (a) Israel's possession of nuclear weapons, (b) Israel's policy on signing the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and (c) the imprisonment of Mordecai Vanunu he raised with (i) Prime Minister Sharon and (ii) members of his delegation during his visit to London in July. [126308]

The priority for the visit was to discuss Road Map implementation and bilateral relations.We do however consistently urge Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non nuclear weapons state, and to sign a full-scope safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), most recently during official-level talks in Tel Aviv on 5 March. Under the agreement with IAEA, Israel's nuclear facilities would be subject to regular inspection to detect and eliminate any diversion of nuclear materials for weapons production. The UK has consistently supported UN Resolutions calling for the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. That zone would include Israel.We have raised our humanitarian concerns about the conditions of Mr Vanunu's imprisonment with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Following his latest parole hearing the Israeli authorities decided against his early release. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv will continue to monitor his case.