Mubarak chides US over nuclear double standards

May 20, 2006 16:56

President Hosni Mubarak opened the World Economic Forum on Saturday with a series of indirect but pointed jabs at the United States, warning also that the world must overcome the widening gap between rich and poor and block escalating threats of terrorism. With US-Egyptian relations as strained as they have been at any time in Mubarak's 25-year rule, the 78-year-old Egyptian leader implicitly accused the US of double standards on nuclear policy - Washington's resolute silence on the nuclear arsenal Israel is believed to possess while it leads a drive to deprive Iran of a nuclear program. He further challenged Washington to work toward a world "that fosters multilateralism, abides by international legitimacy and steers away from unilateral actions" in a clear reference to his and other Arab leaders' distaste for the American invasion of Iraq.

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