NATO to help Egypt police its borders

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CAIRO: NATO will provide equipment to help Egypt monitor its porous borders under a new partnership agreement, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said Wednesday.

Egypt became the second country in the region after Israel to sign Tuesday the North Atlantic alliance s Individual Cooperation Program, which aims at improving political and military ties with the Mediterranean.

Providing equipment for night surveillance is one thing they can do for example, said spokesman Suleiman Awad about what NATO would do to help Egypt protect its borders.

It s not about the deployment of troops, he added, quashing reports in the Israeli media that NATO troops might help patrol the Gaza border.

According to the NATO statement, the agreement will give the alliance s cooperation with Egypt a more strategic dimension.

The United States and Israeli criticized Egypt frequently for not doing enough to prevent the smuggling of weapons and munitions into the Gaza Strip through tunnels.

Egypt has rejected the allegations but recently said it would make a greater effort to crack down on the trafficking.

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