AL chief condemns espionage accusations by Algerian paper

08:30, May 06, 2010      

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Arab League chief Amr Moussa condemned on Wednesday reports published by an Algerian daily accusing Cairo of spying on one of the country's nuclear facilities for the United States in the 1990s, Egypt's MENA news agency reported.

"What has been published by the (Algerian) paper...are ' poisonous views' that should be condemned. It aims at driving a wedge between Algeria and Egypt," the senior Arab diplomat, who was in charge of Egypt's foreign affairs portfolio at that time, said in statements published by MENA.

Algerian daily Ennahar published on Tuesday what it described as a "secret document" that reveals the espionage by the Egyptian government through its foreign minister in May 1991 with the United States on a nuclear reactor in southern Algeria.

"When I have read the document published by the paper...I found that it does not refer to this (espionage) at all. In addition, I myself do not remember this and I took office in May 16, 1991 and spent around two weeks in ceremonial activities. I can never start (my work) with discussing such issues," Moussa said.

The report said the document "reveals the content of discussions between U.S. diplomat Richard A. Clarke (the deputy secretary of state for political and military affairs at that time) with Egyptian foreign minister of the time."

The document carried by the newspaper, however, did not mention the name of the foreign minister who was in office at that time.

Ennahar said the U.S. diplomat had asked the Egyptian foreign minister to provide additional information on the nuclear reactor in Ain Oussera of Djelfa province, southern Algeria, which was "in progress."

The report added that the Egyptian minister has expressed his understanding of U.S. concerns before giving promise to the American official to consider the request.



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