Russia, Egypt Sign Nuclear Cooperation Pact

Ad Feedback - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement inviting Russia to help develop Egypt's nuclear energy capabilities.

Egypt wants to build its first nuclear power plant and Russia, which is building nuclear reactors in a number of countries, wants to expand its nuclear energy industry and its influence in the Middle East.

The two leaders discussed Russia's plans for a Mideast peace conference in the spring, which Israel and the United States oppose.

While Putin stressed that they are only laying the groundwork in the event the conference materializes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Israeli government officials that the June conference will take place whether Israel and the U.S. like it or not.

Putin used the visit to introduce his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, Putin's hand-picked president-elect.

"There is little difference between the two of you," Mubarak observed. "You look alike. On the way to my meeting with Mr. Medvedev, I saw you on television and I was lost trying to guess who is who," said Egypt's leader.

"I hope the good, trusting relations that link you and President Putin will be preserved between us," Medvedev was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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