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Monday, May 31, 2010     GET REAL

Algeria, South Africa sign nuclear energy MOU

CAIRO — Algeria and South Africa have signed a nuclear cooperation agreement.


Officials said Algeria and South Africa intend to explore the civilian development of nuclear technology. They said the memorandum of understanding, signed in Algiers on May 27, would include discussions of joint nuclear energy projects.

"We have identified common areas as well as the mechanism for cooperation," South African Deputy Technology Minister Hanekom Derek said.

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Officials did not provide details of the nuclear agreement, signed during the visit by South African President Jacob Zuma. They said the agreement was part of a wide range of cooperation planned by the African countries.

Algeria has long sought to expand its nuclear program, which has sparked questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency. South Africa said it was focusing on nuclear energy and other civilian programs after pursuing atomic weapons in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Algiers and Cairo also agreed to create a joint technological research and development fund. In the first stage, officials said, the countries would allocate $1 million each.

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