Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Words have not stopped Russia-so much for dialogue!

Arab news source

Egypt and Russia in nuke deal

Novo-Ogarevo, Russia (MENA) - President Hosni Mubarak met with Russian leaders yesterday to close a deal allowing Moscow to join a tender for Egypt's first civil nuclear power station.Mubarak said that after "difficult" negotiations he was ready for the nuclear cooperation agreement, Interfax news agency reported.Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev,

who takes over from Vladimir Putin in May, told Mubarak that he expected a "productive partnership" in the nuclear sphere following the agreement, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said.Mubarak met later with incumbent President Vladimir Putin.The nuclear cooperation accord will allow Russia to bid in an international tender for a 1.5-1.8 billion dollar (1.2 billion euros) reactor project on Egypt's Mediterranean coast, the first stage in Cairo's programme to reduce energy reliance on gas and oil reserves.Russia is keen to re-establish a commercial and diplomatic presence in the Middle East.Mubarak voiced "full satisfaction with the level of international political consultations between Cairo and Moscow"."However, since friends must always be open with each other, I must say that I am not as happy with the volume of Russian investment into Egypt's economy," Mubarak added."The chief issue on the agenda is the signing of an accord on Russian-Egyptian cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy," the Kommersant daily wrote. The paper added its sources hinted that "Moscow gave some ground to Cairo and now expects an answer."The daily added that Moscow particularly hoped that Cairo would return to buying Russian arms.The Nezavisimaya daily echoed that theme in its headline: "Cairo is interested in Russian nuclear technologies and (conventional) weapons."Medvedev expressed hope yesterday that he will manage to maintain succession in good personal relations between the leaders of Russia and Egypt.“I am glad to have an opportunity to get acquainted with you,” Medvedev said in opening remarks at a Kremlin meeting with President Mubarak. “I expect that we shall maintain these good and trust-based relations that you and President Putin enjoy,” he stressed, according to Egypt's Middle East News Agency.“We have very good prospects for developing relations,” Medvedev added. He expressed confidence that the sides will shortly make additional steps towards developing bilateral relations further.“You know our country for a long time and well, you repeatedly visited it in the Soviet era and in the recent history,” Medvedev added. “This is very important for maintaining a fast pace of Russian-Egyptian relations,” he noted.“Our relations at the moment are comprehensive, and they are characterised by very good figures, which you have recently said in your interview,” he stressed. Medvedev explained that he was speaking about trade, which has reached 2.1 billion dollars. “This is a good figure, the growth is visible,” Medvedev added.He also mentioned a growing flow of Russian nationals holidaying in Egypt, saying that their number has exceeded 1.5 million people.Mubarak arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day official visit.

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