Pakistan defends civilian nuclear cooperation with China

18:42, July 19, 2010      

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Pakistan on Monday defended its civilian nuclear cooperation with China to build two nuclear reactors and said the plants will be open to the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after their strategic dialogue, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said there should be no fear about the safety of the nuclear power plants as Pakistan has 35 years of nuclear experience and there has been no untoward incident.

Qureshi said Pakistan is facing energy crisis, citing six to eight hours of power outage in urban areas and 10 to 12 hours in rural areas.

The energy crisis has badly affected the country's economic and agricultural sectors, the minister said, adding that the Pakistani government has embarked on plans to fill the energy gap, including building nuclear power for civilian use.

In late June, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the civilian nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan is for peaceful purposes and such cooperation is based on equality and mutual benefit.

The cooperation fully complies with the two countries' respective international obligations and is subject to the supervision of the IAEA, the spokesman said.

Source: Xinhua


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