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Israel denies interfering with Jordan’s nuclear energy ambitions

(JTA) — An Israeli official denied that his country is trying to disrupt Jordan’s nuclear energy program.

The official dismissed charges by Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday that Israel is trying to thwart Jordan’s attempts to develop a nuclear energy program, the French news agency AFP reported.

"Every time that we were consulted on this we adopted a positive approach," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We were consulted and we always said that of course if this was done according to NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] regulations and supervision and everything, then fine, we have no objection."

In an interview with AFP, Abdullah charged that "strong opposition" was coming from Israel. The two countries signed a peace treaty in 1994.

"A Jordanian delegation would approach a potential partner, and one week later an Israeli delegation would be there, asking our interlocutors not to support Jordan’s nuclear energy bid," Abdullah said in the interview at his palace.

With desert covering 92 percent of Jordan’s territory, the kingdom is one of the world’s 10 driest countries and wants to use atomic energy to fire desalination plants to overcome its crippling water shortage, according to the report.

"Nuclear energy will be the cheapest reliable way to desalinate water," Abdullah said.

 

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