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Egypt parliament discusses Saudi nuclear cooperation agreement
09. August 2016
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Committees within Egypt’s parliament discussed on Sunday new cooperation agreements signed with Saudi Arabia, at the top of which is the nuclear power agreement signed during Saudi King Salman’s visit to Cairo in April.

According to a report prepared by parliament's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee, the agreement goes in line with Egypt's laws and the constitution.

The report explains that the agreement covers important areas of cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the field of ‎‎"peaceful use of nuclear power."

"The agreement mainly aims at exchanging expertise between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the area of nuclear power stations and creating an environment for institutional and legal cooperation between the two countries in this important field," said the report.

The report also explains that greater cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in nuclear power generation could help the two countries meet their rapidly increasing energy needs in the coming years.

"Nuclear power generation has become a major source of energy in recent years and the two countries will use this agreement to tap the potentials of this sector," said the report.

The report also indicated that the agreement will help provide training for Egyptian and Saudi personnel in the area of managing and operating nuclear power stations and plants.

The report disclosed that the cabinet of Saudi Arabia, headed by deputy Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Nayef, proposed in September 2015 that an agreement be signed with Egypt in the area of nuclear power generation due to Egypt's experience in this sector.

Egypt's Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker told reporters that Egypt and Russia are about to sign a final deal to build four nuclear power plants in Egypt.

Shaker said the agreement is being revised by Egypt's state council, and once complete it will be ratified by parliament and the government. The Russian company ‎‎Rosatom will build the first plant in El-Dabaa, west of Alexandria.

Parliament's transport and telecommunications committee also approved another agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the area of naval transport and seaports.

In a meeting on Sunday, the committee, together with the national security and defence committee, said the agreement will help boost the volume of commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

"The agreement also aims at exchanging expertise in the area of naval transport and ports and coordinating their positions in this sector in international conventions and forums," said the committees' report.

The agreement, according to the report, will apply to vessels and ships affiliated with the governments of the two countries, although "it does not apply to warships or to fishing and shipping vessels crossing the Suez Canal."