Mubarak Miffed over Israeli Media Reports
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied Wednesday reports claiming that North Korea is providing Egypt with long-range missiles, the CNN said, citing a report by The Associated Press (AP).
Mubarak suggested that Israel might be behind the reports in an attempt to undermine US-Egyptian relations.
The President denied as baseless the reports in the Israeli media, saying that the reports are "totally false and incorrect.”
He told the government-run news agency (MENA) that he has repeatedly said that “we are not endeavoring to obtain these kinds of weapons and we do not plan to do so because we do not have aggressive intentions."
Mubarak said the objective of such allegations was clear: "to create tension in the region and with the United States, with whom we have strong relations."
Days ago, a senior official from the State Department said that the United States would ask Egypt to explain reports that it had concluded a secret deal with North Korea to buy long-range missiles.
The Haaretz newspaper reported four months ago that Pyongyang had sold No Dong missiles and possibly manufacturing technology to Cairo.
The No Dong was developed by North Korea in the late 1980s and has a range of 1,000 kilometers.
The United States has been reluctant to sell long-range missiles to Egypt because of Washington's alliance with Israel, it noted.
The accusations come as the Bush administration plans to sell Egypt more than 50 surface-to-surface missiles in a $400 million arms deal.
Egyptian authorities approached North Korea about buying the missiles after trying for years to purchase longer-range weapons from European nations and the US, a North Korean diplomatic source was quoted by the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper as saying – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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