Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 27, June 1998
Israel Denies Assisting Indian Nuclear ProgrammeOn 18 June, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Gohar Ayub Khan, told the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in Tel Aviv that "Pakistan knows" Israel supplied India with the "trigger" for its nuclear weapons tests. Khan said simply: "Without it, it will not work. Israel supplied that button."
The same day, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a brief but strong denial, accusing Pakistan of political bias:
"In response to journalists' questions on the [newspaper] interview...with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Israel absolutely denies any cooperation in the Indian nuclear test. Israel has always aspired to establish diplomatic relations with every country, regardless of religion, geographic location or political affiliation. For Israel, the fact that Pakistan is a Muslim State does not constitute any obstacle for the establishment of diplomatic relations. When Pakistan will agree, it will find Israel ready."
Reports: Israel denies cooperation in Indian nuclear tests, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement, 18 June; Israel denies Pakistan's claims, United Press International, 19 June.
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.