Netanyahu cancels trip to US summit

The Israeli PM has pulled out of a US summit on nuclear security amid deepening tensions between the

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled a trip to a Washington nuclear summit hosted by Barack Obama over fears that Muslim countries would raise his country's nuclear status.

The Israeli newspaper Hareetz was reporting this morning that the trip was cancelled over concerns that Muslim states would use the opportunity to pressure Israel to sign up to the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The prime minister's place will be taken by Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor.

An unnamed official told Hareetz, "in the last few days we have received reports about the intention of several participant states to depart from the issue of combatting terrorism and instead misuse the event to goad Israel over the NPT."

The snub will further inflame tensions between Washington and Tel Aviv, threatening to overshadow a week where the US administration announced a shift to its nuclear policy, and signed a agreement with Russia to reduce the two countries' respective arsenals.