State Information Service(SIS)
Ministry of Information (MOI)
Arab Republic of Egypt
Letter from Cairo
July 2 - July 4, 1998
Egypt's Nuclear Power:
An Instrument of Balance,
A Means of Advancing Industry
That, in order to redress the strategic imbalance existing between Egyptians and Israelis, Egypt should strive to become nuclear is against all prevailing geo-political facts. In the case of using nuclear force as a deterrent, the other side must be sure the weapon could be used against it. In our case, Israel occupies a very small spot of land surrounded by Arab populations on more sides than one. It would be impossible, even if it means the annihilation of Israel, to use nuclear weapons to destroy Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians in the process.
The strategic balance between Egypt and Israel could be realized, however, through the peaceful use of atomic energy particularly in the field of power generation and water desalination. Looking at the world around us, we are sure to find countries such as Japan and Germany, who, though not members of the nuclear club, are indeed part of the advanced world. One reason for this is their command of nuclear technology which in turn could help them speedily develop nuclear weapons, should the need arise..
For Egypt's nuclear program to achieve its strategic objectives, the following is recommended:
1 . To immediately adopt the measure necessary for the establishment at Al Dabaa of a nuclear power station with the goal in mind of locally producing most of its components. Egyptians must also play an active role in the design and construction. This requires: A strong and sustained commitment to the program and to its objectives, both on the part of the government and on that of the country's political forces.
The station should be the type whose components could be locally produced.
Egypt's industrial potential should be galvanized and companies commissioned for the local production, in accordance with country-of-origin specifications, of most of the station's parts and components. Although this might raise the cost more than if the station were completely imported, the application of air-tight standards as well as quality control and verification systems; i.e. the prerequisites of nuclear applications, would inevitably have Egypt's general industrial performance rates so improved as to insure the high quality required for competing on international markets.
The cream of Egypt's managers, engineers and technicians should be trained to operate and maintain nuclear stations without relying on foreign assistance.
2 . To adopt the measures necessary to have nuclear stations locally designed, manufactured and installed.
By: Dr. Mohammad Mounir Megahed
Edited from Al Ahram
For Progress or Confrontation?!
How could we, here, in Egypt, overcome the nuclear predicament in which Israel has thrust us and to whose danger the explosions conducted in South East Asia last month has aroused us? Three questions need be answered in that regard: Is it true that a nuclear option should by necessity obstruct progress? Are nuclear weapons really of marginal impact in the course of the military conflict or the peaceful settlement of the Middle East crisis? Finally, what are the options available for Egypt to face the nuclear challenge?
To answer the first question, I must admit to some bewilderment. For why should a nuclear option run counter to progress? Progress in the Twentieth Century has been closely associated with nuclear technology, which has constituted an industrial revolution, in and by itself. A nuclear infrastructure is the equivalent of high discipline and high precision. A nuclear option thus translates into scientific progress.
Three observation are important in determining the real effect of Israel's nuclear arms on the course of military conflict or peaceful settlement in the Middle East region:
First : Israel has thrived on the concept of an inevitable clash between the Western civilization which gave the country its very existence, on the one side, and the Arab-Islamic civilization on the other. The fact of the matter is that a technology gap does exist between East and West which helped the Western countries colonize Arab and Muslim countries for a long period of time starting early in the 1800s up to middle of our present century.
Second : Nuclear armament has marked a watershed in Israel's history. Nuclearization has given Israel access to full US economic and military assistance, and has prevented an out-migration that could have torpedoed the Zionist dream
Third : Besides acknowledging Israel's possession of a nuclear deterrent which could be used to decide the winner in the country's battle of existence, Arabs have declared peace to be their strategic option which rules out any possibility of military confrontation at the present, in the very least .
What options are available for Egypt to face Israel's nuclear challenge is indeed the most complicated of all three questions. Egypt's strategy, in this connection, must rely on the following:
First : To push ahead for decisive progress in nuclear disarmament not only at the regional but also at the international levels. To achieve this, Egypt may invoke India's call for justice in applying the provisions of NPT with the purpose of eliminating rather than monopolizing the possession of nuclear weapons.
Second : To proceed ahead with promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy by applying state-of-the-art technology. A 10-year program is recommended in which a nuclear infrastructure would be developed together with a scientific base capable of working at both peaceful and military applications.
The program could serve:
To advance technology applications in all fields.
To develop an edge for bargaining; when a blanket of secrecy is thrust on progress in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, world doubts would be stirred about Egypt turning to military applications.
To provide the requirements of military applications with the ultimate goal of producing nuclear weapons.
By: Salah Salem
Edited from Al Ahram
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