Egypt started its nuclear energy program in 1954 with initial help from the Soviet Union and later from Argentina. Egypt signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and ratified it in 1981 after more than a decade of delay. In the late 1960s, evidence about Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities surfaced, which may have delayed Egypt’s accession to the NPT.
Egypt is not engaged in any serious nuclear weapon activities, and focuses its efforts on improving its conventional forces.
Egypt remains the strongest critic of Israel’s status as a de facto nuclear power and urges for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East (MENWFZ). Egypt put forward its first proposal for a MENWFZ in 1974.
In early 2005, Egypt admitted its failure to report past nuclear activities and materials to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a timely fashion. IAEA inspections verified the lack of reporting through a series of inspections in 2004 and 2005, which removed concerns about possible nuclear weapon activities.
- Speech by President Hosni Mubarak on the Occasion of the Signing of the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty (ANWFZ), 11 April 1996
- NPT Review Conference Opening Statement, 25 April 2000
- NPT Review Conference Resolution on the Middle East, 1995
- 1998 NPT Preparatory Committee Working Paper on the resolution on the Middle East, 5 May 1998
- 1999 NPT Preparatory Committee Working Paper on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East , 11 May 1999
- 1999 NPT Preparatory Committee Working Paper on the resolution on the Middle East , 17 May 1999
- 2003 NPT Preparatory Committee Paper submitted by the Permanent Delegation of the League of Arab States to the United Nations at Geneva on behalf of the League of Arab States , 6 May 2003
- UNGA Resolution: The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, 16 December 2004
- UNGA Resolution: Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, 16 December 2004
- Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Arab Republic of Egypt, IAEA Report, 14 February 2005
- “What does not exist cannot proliferate,” International Herald Tribune, signed by Foreign Ministers Celso Amorim of Brazil; Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit of Egypt; Brian Cowen of Ireland; Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista of Mexico; Phil Goff of New Zealand; Nkosazana Dlimini-Zuma of South Africa; and Laila Freivalds of Sweden, 2 May 2005
- 2005 NPT Review Conference Opening Statement, 3 May 2005
- 2005 NPT Review Conference Working Paper on the implementation of the 1995 resolution and 2000 outcome on the Middle East submitted to Main Committee II, 12 May 2005
- The implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Working paper presented by the State of Qatar on behalf of the States members of the League of Arab States, 17 May 2005