Underscores Egypt's Support for GNEP and Encourages Policies that Attract Energy Investment
CAIRO, EGYPT - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today met with Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Said Mubarak where he reaffirmed the two nations' long-standing economic and energy partnership on his final stop in the Middle East of a ten day, six-nation swing through the Middle East and Europe. During his meeting with President Mubarak, Secretary Bodman highlighted the importance of Egypt's participation in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and acknowledged Egypt's efforts to promote nuclear safeguards and secure radioactive material. The two leaders discussed their shared objectives to promote alternative and renewable sources of energy, as well as policies that promote increased investments in the development of energy resources. Secretary Bodman also met with senior Egyptian officials and U.S. business leaders during his second visit to Egypt as Secretary of Energy.
"Egypt has long been a key energy ally of the United States and we are committed to continuing and expanding the strategic partnership between our two nations," said Secretary Bodman. "Efforts to advance alternative energy technologies in Egypt, along with improvements in energy efficiency, will play an important role in promoting the wider use of clean energy technologies regionally and globally to meet the energy challenges that face the global community."
While in Egypt, Secretary Bodman met with Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis, Executive Chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority Dr. Sherif Aboulnasr, and Minister of Petroleum Samih Fahmi with whom he discussed privatization plans in the electricity sector, efforts to develop and implement renewable technologies and attract private investment, and Egypt's plans for future oil and gas exploration and refinery expansion.
Secretary Bodman also spoke with Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Admiral Ahmed Ali Fadel and discussed Egypt's recent announcement of increased transit fees and the Canal's importance to commerce and energy security.
In September 2007, Egypt participated as an observer nation in the second Ministerial meeting of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership in Vienna, Austria, where the Partnership tripled in size to 16 members and developed a framework to address issues of nuclear fuel services and infrastructure development to enable nations to share the benefits of nuclear power worldwide. GNEP, which currently enjoys the membership of 19 nations, seeks to expand the use of clean and affordable nuclear energy for peaceful purposes worldwide by promoting a closed nuclear fuel cycle that responsibly manages nuclear waste, furthers nonproliferation goals, and increases global energy security.
Prior to arriving in Egypt, Secretary Bodman took part in energy dialogues with global leaders in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar to enhance the United States' relationship with oil and gas producing nations, promote sustained investment in conventional and alternative energy sources, and encourage improvements in global energy efficiency through breakthrough technologies. Before returning to the United States, Secretary Bodman will participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940