Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his top advisers last week ruled out the possibility of accepting a nuclear protection guarantee from the United States, the Inter-Press Service reported (see GSN, July 22).
The Obama administration last month indicated it would consider extending protection to its Middle Eastern allies if Iran continues its disputed nuclear activities (see related GSN story, today).
"What the Middle East needs is peace, security, stability and development," rather than nuclear armaments, sources quoted Mubarak as saying at an Aug. 18 summit with U.S. President Barack Obama.
"Egypt will not be part of any American nuclear umbrella intended to protect the Gulf countries,"
the Egyptian president told the Al-Ahram newspaper one day earlier.
Joining such a defense agreement "would imply accepting foreign troops and experts on our land -- and we do not accept that," Mubarak said, adding that a pact "would imply an implicit acceptance that there is a regional nuclear power -- we do not accept that either" (see GSN, Aug. 14).
"We have not received any official communication regarding such a proposal," he said (Fareed Mahdy, Inter-Press Service, Aug. 20).