U.S. nuclear specialists to visit Egypt

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CAIRO: U.S. nuclear experts are to offer technical advice to their counterparts in Egypt, which last month announced it was relaunching its civil nuclear program after a 20-year freeze, official media said Thursday. The experts were to arrive in Egypt soon to share their experience, according to U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone, quoted by the MENA news agency. Ricciardone did not specify when the nuclear experts would arrive but said Washington was prepared to help Egypt relaunch its civil nuclear program. Ricciardone said last month that the United States encourages the peaceful use of nuclear power for civilian purposes throughout the world.

Egypt s nuclear program was frozen in 1986 following the accident at the Chernobyl power plant in what was then the Soviet Union. Egypt signed in 1968 the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty and officially supports the elimination of nuclear weapons in the region. The Egyptian government regularly criticizes Israel over its alleged atomic arsenal, whose existence Israel has never acknowledged though the Jewish state is widely believed to possess hundreds of nuclear warheads.

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