Monday, 20 December 2010

WikiLeaks reveal President Mubarak turned down nuclear deal with Russia

A WikiLeaks cable, published by the Guardian newspaper, has revealed that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak turned down a black-market proposal to purchase nuclear weapons from Russia.

The May 2009 cable, said that Egypt's UN ambassador, Maged Abdelaziz, told US nuclear arms control negotiator, Rose Gottemoeller, during a Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty conference in New York, that Egypt “had been offered nuclear scientists, materials and even weapons following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Egypt had refused all such offers."

Abdelaziz said that Egypt was keen to portray itself as a responsible member of the international community and therefore refused to make nuclear deals with Russia. The revelation has roused concern as to what nuclear sales were made by the other states or groups in the aftermath of the early 1990s economic collapse in Russia and the FSU.

The subject of nuclear arm sales came up following a discussion of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, during the New York conference. When asked how he knew the proposed sale to be true, “Abdelaziz replied he was in Moscow at that time and had direct personal knowledge."

Sources: Ha'aretz, Guardian, Jerusalem Post

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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