Western intelligence agencies have reached the conclusion that Egypt is taking
steps to obtain nuclear weapons, the German daily Die Welt reported Saturday.
According to the report, Egypt intends to mine natural uranium in the Sinai Peninsula
and enrich it to weapons' grade material with the help of Chinese technology.
The material would then be used on long-range missiles.
The paper also said that Egypt had in the past few years considered obtaining
enriched uranium from several African countries.
Die Welt stressed that Egypt has denied the existence of any military
nuclear project, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency, located in Vienna,
confirmed that it has no information on nuclear developments in Egypt. The paper
claimed that despite the denial, there have been increased hints that Cairo was
stepping up its attempts to attain and enrich uranium, so as to be able to produce
nuclear weapons in the future.
On January 23, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak set out for an official trip
to China. During the visit the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation.
Most of the details of the agreement have remained confidential, although security
sources believe that the agreement between the two countries regards cooperation
on matters of research, development, use of uranium sources, and especially "Chinese
aid for mining natural uranium in the Sinai Peninsula."
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