Cabinet approves agreement of nuclear cooperation between Cairo, Riyadh
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's King Salman review the honour guards in Cairo - REUTERS

CAIRO: An agreement on Egyptian-Saudi nuclear cooperation was approved by the Cabinet Thursday to initiate peaceful projects; the agreement was signed in Cairo April 8.

The agreement will enhance cooperation in nuclear power and the safety of nuclear sites according to the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Cabinet also approved a grant agreement between the two countries, per which Riyadh will provide Egypt with $2.5 billion to support Egypt’s economic program. The agreement was signed in Cairo April 10, 2016.

A $25-billion loan from Russia was approved by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi earlier in May to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, northern Egypt.

The loan covers 85 percent of the cost of the plant; Egypt will pay the loan back over 22 years in half-year installments at a yearly interest rate of three percent.

In November 2015, an agreement was signed between the two countries to finance and build four reactors in the first phase. Russian state-owned Rosatom will construct the plant, and the first reactor will begin operating by 2020.

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