Hosni Mubarak rejected offers of nuclear weapons and s
cientists, according to the cables. Photograph: Amr Nabil/APPresident Hosni Mubarak turned down the offer, but the incident raises new questions over what nuclear sales were made by the other states or groups in the chaos of the early 1990s in Russia and the former Soviet republics.
Maged Abdelaziz, the country's ambassador to the UN, made the revelation to America's top negotiator on nuclear arms control, Rose Gottemoeller, in a conversation reported in a leaked US cable in May last year.
The subject came up in a discussion of the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, a foreign policy priority for Cairo. The US cable said: "Finally, in an apparent attempt to portray Egypt as a responsible member of the international community, Abdelaziz claimed that Egypt had been offered nuclear scientists, materials and even weapons following the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Egypt had refused all such offers."
"A/S [assistant secretary of state] Gottemoeller asked him how he knew this to be true, to which Abdelaziz replied he was in Moscow at that time and had direct personal knowledge."
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