Vienna: The UN nuclear agency chief is urging Israel and Arab nations to come to the table with open minds at a meeting on ways to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Mideast.
Wide chasms separate the two sides. Israel says peace must be established in the Mideast before talks on such a zone can be concretely discussed. The Arabs say the two topics are independent.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said at the opening on Monday he hopes the meeting "will nurture fresh thinking”.
Organisers caution against high expectations.
Almost 100 nations are attending. Iran is boycotting the meeting, which will hear presentations on already established nuclear-free zones.
The Arabs view Israel`s undeclared nuclear arsenal as the greatest threat. Israel says it is Iran.