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Mubarak to ask China for help with nuclear program
Egyptian president to visit China, Russia and Kazakhstan, expected to appeal to China for help on nuclear energy program. Egyptian official: We could also benefit from Russia's nuclear knowledge

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak set out this week for a series of meetings in China, Russia and Kazakhstan. Mubarak will meet leaders of the three nations and speak with them on financial issues including trading areas, joint investments and even collaboration on a nuclear energy program.

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the Ahbar al Yom Egyptian paper that during Mubarak's visit, he would discuss the country's program for "nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

 

Mubarak is also expected to sign agreements with China regarding technological information sharing. While in Beijing, the president will take part in a ceremony honoring half a century of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

The Egyptian ambassador to Moscow Ezzat Saad said in an interview to government-affiliated newspaper al-Ahram that Egypt could benefit a great deal from Russian knowledge of peace-oriented nuclear energy, in preparation for building power stations to produce electricity.

 

Over a month ago, Mubarak surprised the world by declaring that his state wished to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

 

The announcement came days after his son Jamal's statement that he wished to utilize the existing knowledge in the country to advance technological development.

 

In a speech that concluded the fourth meeting this year of the National Democratic Party – the nation's ruling party – Mubarak emphasized that nuclear energy was intended to compensate for Egypt's lack of oil and natural gas reserves.

 

Several days later, the a-Sharq al-Awsat paper reported that Egypt had formally declared its intention to build three nuclear reactors for the purpose of providing electricity. The Egyptian Energy Ministry decided that the reactors would be built in the northwest part of the country, along the Mediterranean.

 

The reactors would theoretically be able to provide 1800 megawatts of electricity jointly (600 megawatts each). The reactors would be built according to western models, which are considered very safe.

 

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