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Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) - Diplomats say proposed high-level talks between Israel and its Muslim neighbors on a Mideast free of weapons of mass destruction have been called off.

The diplomats said the U.S., one of the organizers, would likely make a formal announcement soon, stating that with tensions in the region high, "the time was not opportune" for such a gathering.

The meeting, to be held in Helsinki by year's end, was on shaky ground since it was agreed to in 2010 by the 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The decision to scrap it cast doubt on the significance of the NPT conference and its attempts every five years to advance nonproliferation.

The diplomats demanded anonymity Saturday because they were not authorized to divulge the cancellation ahead of the formal announcement.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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