Israel’s accession to NPT treaty dominates IAEA conference

The 54th session of the annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) kicked off yesterday in Vienna amid anticipation that Israel’s nuclear arsenal will be the main focus of debate.

Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis is expected to meet with the other delegation leaders attending the conference in an attempt to form nuclear cooperation agreements. Younis hopes to put international expertise in the field to good use with Egypt's nuclear projects.

Meanwhile, Israeli Radio said that, despite diplomatic efforts by the US and the EU, Arab states are continuing to push their call to have Israel sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

US Ambassador to the IAEA Glyn Davies said in a press conference on Thursday that a resolution obliging Israel to accede to the treaty would threaten peace negotiations in the Middle East.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano submitted a report last month in which he said he urged Tel Aviv to join the NPT during his last visit to Israel. He added that Israel's nuclear activity is peaceful.

Listed high on the IAEA conference agenda is Iran’s nuclear program, which Western countries are concerned might have a military dimension.

Meanwhile, Minister of Electricity Hassan Younis has announced that Egypt aims to use nuclear radiation to boost crop productivity in arid areas.

Younis also said that Egypt will continue to cooperate with the IAEA to ease the shortage of radioisotopes used in the treatment of cancer patients.

Younis added that Egypt is working closely with the IAEA to expand the peaceful use of nuclear energy through the development of its scientific experts and capacity. He added that technical collaboration with the IAEA has helped Egypt in using nuclear energy for research purposes.

The minister also said that Egypt will soon inaugurate a facility to produce radioisotopes for medical and industrial use.

Translated from the Arabic Edition..

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