01 March 2015, Cairo — A Russian delegation visited the Dabaa nuclear facility on Saturday, in a step to implement an Egyptian-Russian agreement to generate electricity using nuclear power.
The head of the delegation said Russian President Vladimir Putin gave instructions to give the project of building the power plant “maximum priority,” among the Russian foreign projects.
The agreement was announced on February 10, during Putin’s visit to Cairo.
The Russian president held talks with Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, with the two agreeing to build the facility and “reinforce military cooperation”, among several other agreements.
Alaa Abu Zeid, the governor of Marsa Matruh, a Mediterranean city where the power plant is located, said the visit is a start of activating the agreement, state television reported.
This comes at a time of heightened bi-lateral cooperation between the two countries. Putin’s visit to Cairo comes after Sisi visited Russia twice in 2014.
Hours after the announcement of the agreement, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “we support peaceful nuclear power programmes as long as obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to which Egypt is a signatory and obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency are fully met and the highest international standards regulating security, nonproliferation, export controls, and physical security are strictly followed.”
In a prerecorded speech last week Sisi said, “Egypt is a very mature country, that does not take risks or have a hidden agenda,” while addressing the Dabaa nuclear facility.