Nuclear talks end with deal

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The 189 member nations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty yesterday adopted a plan proposing a 2012 conference to discuss the banning of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

The creation of such a zone could force Israel to sign up to the treaty and abandon its nuclear weapons arsenal, although US officials said this would not happen until there was peace in the region.

The 28-page Final Declaration was approved by consensus on the last day of the month-long conference in New York. In it, the five recognised nuclear states, including Britain and the US, also committed to speeding up arms reductions.