Egyptian-Italian satellite to protect environment
Egypt and Italy will sign an agreement in Rome to produce and launch a satellite aimed at protecting Egypt's desert environment and cultural heritage, the Italian embassy in Cairo stated February 18.
The deal, negotiated by the Italian Space Agency and the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, will be signed Monday during Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's visit to Rome, it said in a statement.
The DesertSat satellite will preserve Egypt's agricultural and water resources, protect its cultural heritage, monitor the erosion of Mediterranean coasts, and limit desertification in the Nile Delta, the statement said.
It gave no timeline for the project, which would be conducted in four stages: the training of Egyptian experts, designing through the transfer of knowledge, the production of the satellite and launch. The program might be complemented by the construction of a land station for receiving and processing satellite images.
Mubarak left Cairo Sunday for Rome to discuss Italian-Egyptian economic ties and the foundering Arab-Israeli peace process before traveling to France for a routine medical check-up, sources close to Mubarak said. Mubarak will first meet Monday with Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and then hours later with Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, the sources at the presidency added. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)