Arabs plan to monitor Israel's nuclear activities

Special to World
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

CAIRO The Arab League plans to form a committee of experts to monitor Israel's nuclear activities.

Arab League officials said the panel would be part of the Arab Atomic Energy Agency and monitor Israel's nuclear facilities. They said the stress would be on the nuclear reactor at Dimona, which is not under the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Arab Atomic Energy Agency chief Mahmoud Nasser Eddin said the proposed committee would monitor air and water samples along Israel's borders with Arab states. Nasser Eddin said the panel would aim to quickly detect any nuclear leakage from Israel.

Egypt has taken the lead for intensified international efforts to monitor the Dimona plant. Egyptian officials have asserted that radiation levels along the Israeli-Egyptian border have been higher than normal. Israel has denied this.

Last month, the Arab League held a series of meetings to discuss Israel's nuclear activities. The panel that convened in Cairo included Arab military delegates.

Nasser Edin also met Arab League secretary-general Amr Mussa to discuss the activities of the new panel. The two men were said to have agreed that Israel should be pressured to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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