News | Africa – Reuters.com

 

Egypt won’t sign nuclear deal protocol -minister

Tue 11 Dec 2007, 15:39 GMT

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CAIRO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Egypt will not sign on to a nuclear non-proliferation agreement which gives the U.N. nuclear watchdog the right to make intrusive short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Egypt, which said in late October it would build several civilian nuclear power stations to meet its growing energy needs, ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1981, but has not signed on to the additional protocol.

In a speech delivered on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Egypt would not go beyond its existing commitments on monitoring of its nuclear program.

"It’s necessary to adhere to the principal of not linking the provision of nuclear energy with the acceptance of obligations not specified in treaties and agreements," Aboul Gheit said in the remarks, distributed by his ministry.

"Egypt will not accept any additional obligations in this matter."

Aboul Gheit said developing countries found themselves facing constraints beyond those set down in international treaties, which could make such countries "permanently dependent on developed countries" for nuclear energy needs.

"There are attempts by some to make accession to the additional protocol a precondition to supplying nuclear technology," he said, but emphasised "the protocol remains in reality a voluntary instrument that cannot be imposed."

News | Africa – Reuters.com

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