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6 Arab countries announce plans for nuclear programs

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  • 6 Arab countries announce plans for nuclear programs


    CAIRO, Sept. 19 — Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt’s president, proposed Tuesday that his country pursue nuclear energy, drawing strong applause from the nation’s political elite, while raising expectations that Mr. Mubarak is being positioned to replace his father as president.

    The carefully crafted political speech raised the prospect of two potentially embarrassing developments for the White House at a time when the region is awash in crisis: a nuclear program in Egypt, recipient of about $2 billion a year in military and development aid from the United States, and Mr. Mubarak succeeding his father, Hosni Mubarak, as president without substantial political challenge.

    Simply raising the topic of Egypt’s nuclear ambitions at a time of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear activity was received as a calculated effort to raise the younger Mr. Mubarak’s profile and to build public support through a show of defiance toward Washington, political analysts and foreign affairs experts said.

    “The whole world — I don’t want to say all, but many developing countries — have proposed and started to execute the issue of alternative energy,” he said. “It is time for Egypt to put forth, and the party will put forth, this proposal for discussion about its future energy policies, the issue of alternative energy, including nuclear energy, as one of the alternatives.”

    He also said in a clear reference to the White House: “We do not accept visions from abroad that try to dissolve the Arab identity and the joint Arab efforts within the framework of the so-called Greater Middle East Initiative.”

    When President Bush called for promoting democracy in the Middle East, he looked to Egypt as a leader in that effort. But with all the chaos in the region, and with the United States in need of strong allies, the administration has backed off on pressing for democracy here.

    Instead, it has witnessed the country reversing earlier gains, arresting political opposition figures, beating street demonstrators, locking up bloggers, blocking creation of new political parties and postponing local elections by two years.

    In his speech, Mr. Mubarak, an assistant secretary general of the governing National Democratic Party and head of its powerful policies committee, did not specify what he envisioned for a nuclear program, but there are several potential avenues.

    If, for example, Egypt simply purchased nuclear fuel from abroad to power its reactors under international inspection, and then returned the spent fuel to its supplier, it would pose no significant threat of being diverted to a weapons program, nuclear experts said. The Bush administration and the Europeans have proposed a similar arrangement to solve the Iran standoff, though Iran has so far rejected that approach.

    The trouble would come if Egypt, like Iran, insisted on developing the capacity to produce the fuel on its own, which would also give it the ability, theoretically, to produce weapons-grade uranium.

    Many experts here welcomed Gamal Mubarak’s proposal and dismissed suggestions that it might pose a threat to the West.

    “Egypt, and especially the N.D.P., is a strategic ally of the U.S.,” said Hassan Abou Taleb, an analyst with the government-financed Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “It does not seek confrontation with the U.S. over its nuclear program. Instead, it seeks cooperation. Why should the U.S. assist India in its nuclear program and not Egypt?”

    Mr. Mubarak’s speech was delivered during the fourth annual party convention, presented as “New thought and a second leap toward the future.” Thematically, the party has refocused itself on bread-and-butter issues, talking about pensions, jobs and even how to promote soccer, which is a national obsession.

    Both Gamal Mubarak and his father have said that he is not interested in the presidency. But political analysts said that Egypt was serious about nuclear energy and that the speech was clearly aimed at promoting the younger Mr. Mubarak. Afterward, even party members said it appeared that he would be the party’s candidate for president in 2011.

    Distance from Washington and pursuit of nuclear power are two actions that could help shore up two of Gamal Mubarak’s perceived shortcomings if he were to run for president: his lack of a military background and the perception that he and his father are Washington’s lackeys. The nuclear program might help him win support among the military and the veiled criticism of Washington might help him restore some credibility with the public.

    President Mubarak, 79, has said Egypt, unlike Syria, will not allow the presidency to be inherited. He was elected to a new six-year term in 2004, and that is expected to be his last. Even party members close to the son acknowledge that there are no other candidates on the horizon, either in the party or in what remains of a crushed and disorganized opposition.

    “Even if we assume that Gamal Mubarak will run, what is the problem with that?” said Gamal Moussa, a district party leader. “He is an Egyptian citizen. I am one of the people who support him. He is an educated man and he is sensitive to the public. He has ideas and he is loyal to his country. If the party can get him the votes, then why can’t he run?”

    Egyptians often joke about the president’s son, watching as he checks off requirements to become president. He recently visited Washington, where he was greeted by President Bush. The party insisted he had gone to the United States only to renew his pilot’s license.

    With his nuclear proposal, the younger Mr. Mubarak also appears to be taking a page from the playbook of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has turned producing nuclear energy into a matter of national pride.

    Today, Egypt has no nuclear reactors for making electricity, nor the means to enrich uranium into atomic fuel. It has conducted atomic research for decades, but appears to have never pursued major programs for making reactors for power or nuclear arms, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Early last year, the agency reported “a number of failures by Egypt to report” on the history of its atomic research program, with most of the violations centering on small research facilities. Egypt has two research reactors.

    For the decades ahead, atomic experts foresee strong international growth in the use of nuclear power and expect developing states like Egypt to eventually build reactors. “The N.D.P. has been discussing and deliberating the issue of developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes for about three months,” said Mr. Abou Taleb of the Ahram Center. “This is not a secret.”

    Last edited by Guest 123; 31st May 2008, 13:19.

  • #2
    Did you know that with all the nukes in the world, we have enough power to split the Earth in half!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      The world should realize by now that Islamic countries (where Muslims are majority) cannot function like Western democracies. For the sake of stability, either kings or dictators should rule Muslim nations.

      Saddam was a bad dictator. Musharaff is a good dictator.

      Mubarrak has played his dictator card very well. I will not be surprised, and even welcome, Gamal to smoothly get on the chair when his father step down.

      A good dictator is preferable to rule of religious clerics, such as Taliban and clerics in Iran.

      A good dictator, stability, and some prosperity, will really help Egypt. So I am for Egypt developing its own nuclear energy.
      THERE IS NO SALVATION IN RELIGION.

      "Unless you are 'born' again, you can never get into the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

      Comment


      • #4
        But Theja! The 'New Middle East'! 'Democracy is on the march!' (or is it 'freedom'? ) - how can you turn your back on such unselfish 'values' and recommend (a perpetuation of) undemocratic political arrangements - particularly ones that seem to be premised upon some bigoted views YOU have about Muslims?

        Comment


        • #5
          Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made a surprising declaration Thursday, saying that his country wants "to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

          "We must take advantage of new and renewable energy sources, including the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and I call for a serious dialogue which takes into account the clean and cheap sources of energy available through nuclear technologies," he said.

          "We do not start from a vacuum, and we possess a knowledge of these techniques which enables us to proceed."

          Mubarak’s son Gamal called for nuclear energy development only a few days ago.

          During a speech at the annual meeting of the National Democratic party – Egypt's ruling party – Mubarak said nuclear energy would compensate for the shortage Egypt has in oil reserves and natural gas.

          In the US, Mubarak's declarations were not met with surprise. The two countries have grown increasingly close in recent years, and American leaders do not appear to want to stand in Egypt's way. US Ambassador to Egypt said earlier that "the US encourages nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

          The Mubarak family, both father and son, have been the subject of Egyptian criticism over the succession of Mubarak's son to power, in the same way that Basher Assed took power in Syria.

          Analysts and the opposition say Gamal's supporters in the party are preparing him to succeed his 78-year-old father through constitutional means. Gamal has said he does not have presidential ambitions.

          In light of these pressures, Mubarak has set out on a program of reforms to government, and committed himself to legal reforms which will reduce the authorities of the president and will strengthen the power of the prime minister and the parliament in the decision making process.

          But Mubarak's comments did not include commitments to answer demands from the Egyptian opposition, which calls for a change in the law for the presidential elections, and to limit the president to two terms at most.

          On the Middle East, Mubarak said it was pointless to talk about a "new Middle East" or a "war on terror" - the policy labels used by Washington - without tackling the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

          He did not mention by name the United States, which gives Egypt close to USD 2 billion a year in aid in return for its cooperation on regional policy.

          "The failure and stopping of the peace process is the essence of the Middle East problem and the time has come for the international powers to recognize this fact and to deal with it through a serious and sensible endeavor," he said.

          "Any talk about the New or Greater Middle East ignores this fact. Any talk about the war on terror must be accompanied with similar talk about its roots and causes, and an urgent move to reach just solutions to pending problems," he added.

          Mubarak: We want to develop nuclear energy

          Comment


          • #6
            CAIRO, Egypt President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday called for Egypt to pursue nuclear energy, as the U.S ambassador said Washington would be willing to help its Mideast ally develop a peaceful program.

            Mubarak echoed a call made earlier this week by his son, Gamal, who many believe is being groomed to succeed his father. The proposal surprised some, who saw it as a jab at the United States, which is locked in a confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program. Washington claims Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, a claim Tehran denies.

            "We must increase our exploitation of new energy sources, including the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," President Mubarak said in a televised speech at the closing session of a three-day conference of his ruling National Democratic Party.

            "I call for a serious debate (in Egypt), taking into consideration what nuclear tecnology can provide by way of clean, inexpensive energy sources," he said.

            He said Egypt was "not starting from zero. We have knowledge of this technology, enabling us to move forward with it."

            Egypt has conducted nuclear experiments on a very small scale for the past four decades but they have not included the key process of uranium enrichment, according to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a 2005 report that the program did not appear to be aimed at developing weapons.

            U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Francis Ricciardone, said the United States had no problem with an Egyptian nuclear program and is ready to supply technology to help.

            "There is no comparison between Iran and Egypt in this field. Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but using nuclear power for peaceful means is totally different matter," he told the Egyptian TV station El-Mehwar.

            "If Egypt, after detailed study on this subject, decides that nuclear power is a positive thing and important for Egypt, we can cooperate in this field. Why not?" he said.

            "We have a program, the Global Nuclear Energy Program. We are ready to supply nuclear technology to friendly states which want to benefit from civilian, peaceful nuclear power," Ricciardone said.

            The 42-year-old Gamal Mubarak made the nuclear proposal during a speech on Tuesday at a conference of the ruling National Democratic Party, where he is the deputy secretary general.

            At a press conference the following day, he underlined that any program would not be aimed at developing weapons. "Egypt has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which stipulates that members use nuclear energy for peaceful means," he said.

            The call may have had more to do with domestic politics: to establish the younger Mubarak's credentials as a serious politician with a call for an ambitious high-tech program.

            By implication, it would also put some distance between him and the United States in Egyptians' eyes, since many here are sympathic with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stand that Iran has the right to develop nuclear technology despite U.S. pressure.

            Egyptian officials have largely remained on the sidelines of international criticism of Iran's nuclear program, which the U.S. has said aims to produce nuclear weapons, although Tehran claims its goal is to generate electricity.

            Many in Egypt believe the pro-business Gamal Mubarak is being put on track to succeed his father, whose term ends in 2011. Both Mubaraks have denied any plans for succession, but during the current party conference some members touted the son as a suitable leader.

            U.S. could help Egypt with nuclear program, ambassador says

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Theja
              The world should realize by now that Islamic countries (where Muslims are majority) cannot function like Western democracies. For the sake of stability, either kings or dictators should rule Muslim nations.

              Saddam was a bad dictator. Musharaff is a good dictator.

              Mubarrak has played his dictator card very well. I will not be surprised, and even welcome, Gamal to smoothly get on the chair when his father step down.

              A good dictator is preferable to rule of religious clerics, such as Taliban and clerics in Iran.

              A good dictator, stability, and some prosperity, will really help Egypt. So I am for Egypt developing its own nuclear energy.
              I'm sorry, I didn't realise it was April 1st.



              V

              Comment


              • #8
                Musharaf is a terrible dictator , he has called so many innocent people in Waziristan and Baluchistan in the name of terror , so he can get more millions and pat on the back from the neocons . he is not liked by his people and so far 5 attempts on his life . they burn his photo and stamp on it on a regular basis because of being a puppet for the whitehouse.

                I have no problem for Egypt going nuclear , that s the way forward to have cheaper fuel . to buy it from the west is costly so why not have it locally .
                Friendship

                [60:8] GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

                [60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nesreen
                  Musharaf is a terrible dictator , he has called so many innocent people in Waziristan and Baluchistan in the name of terror , so he can get more millions and pat on the back from the neocons . he is not liked by his people and so far 5 attempts on his life . they burn his photo and stamp on it on a regular basis because of being a puppet for the whitehouse.

                  I have no problem for Egypt going nuclear , that s the way forward to have cheaper fuel . to buy it from the west is costly so why not have it locally .
                  Love to see that neocon finger come out. It explains all the problems in the worls so well
                  And why do you think that Egypt buys its oil from the west? That does not make much sense to me being as Egypt is surrounded by very large oil producing countries.

                  I dont think Egypt is ready for 'the bomb" mainly due to the simple fact that it is still a dictatorship and dictatorships dont last forever and when they are overthrown they are usually replaced by an extremism that was suppress under the dictatorship.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kaleidoview
                    Love to see that neocon finger come out. It explains all the problems in the worls so well
                    Not a mate of Voltaire's are you Kaleidoview?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by voltaire
                      I'm sorry, I didn't realise it was April 1st.
                      V
                      It is like almost everyday is April 1st with Theja. Sometimes it is halloween
                      Avant d'ecrire il faut savoir lire,
                      et avant de parler, il faut savoir ecouter
                      Par El Bachir El Ibrahimi

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by liberte
                        Not a mate of Voltaire's are you Kaleidoview?
                        Not a mate of Khokom's are you Liberte?



                        V

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think 'Friends Reunited' is the kind of site you want if you're seriously looking for answers to those kinds of questions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Egyptian minister: Cairo to start building nuclear powerplants

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Al-khiyal
                              I think 'Friends Reunited' is the kind of site you want if you're seriously looking for answers to those kinds of questions.
                              Not a mate of the guy who runs Friends Reunited, are you Al-K?



                              V

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