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Egypt worried its WMDs next on U.S. list


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Egypt worried its WMDs next on U.S. list

Libya deal has Cairo concerned about giving up its programs

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Posted: January 31, 2004

1:00 a.m. Eastern

Egypt is worried the United States will demand that it dismantle its biological and chemical weapons programs, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.

President Hosni Mubarak was infuriated over Libya's agreement to dismantle its missile and WMD assets and sign the Chemical Weapons Convention.

For years, Mubarak and Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhaffi have coordinated their strategies and cooperated in several secret missile and WMD research and development programs.

But Gadhaffi kept Mubarak in the dark over the secret Libyan-U.S.-British negotiations that resulted in the dismantling of Tripoli's strategic weapons programs in 2003.

Egypt feels threatened by the presence of a British-U.S. team in Libya. Cairo has used Libya as a laboratory for Egyptian research and development programs that couldn't be linked to Cairo. Egypt has close ties to North Korea, and Libya also has served as a way station for the delivery of components from Pyongyang to Cairo.

At one point, the normally restrained Mubarak suggested Gadhaffi was fabricating tales of Libyan WMD programs. As Mubarak put it, Gadhaffi had no WMD programs to speak of. The Libyan leader, he insisted, just wanted to feel important.

The United States probably will not confront Egypt over its WMD programs. Mubarak expects a U.S. approach stressing democracy and transparency in Egypt's government and military. Right now, however, transparency is the last thing Mubarak wants.

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