JERUSALEM — An Israeli official on Wednesday dismissed charges by Jordan's King Abdullah II that the Jewish state was trying to foil his country's nuclear energy programme, calling the accusation "a hollow excuse."
"Every time that we were consulted on this we adopted a positive approach," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The king's accusations sound (like) a hollow excuse," he added. "We were consulted and we always said that of course if this was done according to NPT regulations and supervision and everything, then fine, we have no objection."
Israel, the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, is not a signatory to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which regulates nuclear activity.
Jordan's king levelled the accusations at Israel earlier on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with AFP.
"Strong opposition to Jordan's nuclear energy programme is coming from Israel," he said.
"A Jordanian delegation would approach a potential partner, and one week later an Israeli delegation would be there, asking our interlocutors not to support Jordan's nuclear energy bid," Abdullah said during the interview at his palace.
Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs, is struggling to find alternatives to unstable Egyptian gas supplies, which normally cover 80 percent of the kingdom's power production.
Since 2011, the pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to both Israel and Jordan has been attacked 14 times, with a consequent disruption of supplies.
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