Badr said it was "puzzling" that in the run up to the New York conference efforts were focused on strengthening the obligations on non-nuclear weapons states.

The previous review conference in May 2005 ended in disarray, without an agreement.

Postponed efforts 

Badr suggested the nuclear powers had failed to hold their side of the bargain, while attempts to secure a nuclear weapons free Middle East at the NPT have constantly been postponed.

"We in the Middle East feel we have, short of better word, been tricked into giving concessions for promises that never materialised," Badr said at an event in the Swiss city to mark the 40th anniversary of the NPT.

Israel, which is strongly suspected of having a nuclear arsenal, has refused to sign the NPT as have both India and Pakistan, which have carried out weapons tests.

North Korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003 and started conducting nuclear tests two years later.

Non-aligned states, which Egypt currently heads, have called on Israel to formally renounce nuclear weapons.

Under the NPT, nuclear powers are meant to move to disarm in return for a pledge by other countries not to seek nuclear weapons. The right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy is also enshrined but under international oversight.

One hundred and eighty-nine countries have signed the NPT.