China, Pakistan Reach Nuclear Energy Deal

As reported by United Press International

The Pakistani government has finalized a deal with China to build two new nuclear power plants in the country, the Pakistani foreign minister said.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan was working with its Chinese counterparts on more than 120 different projects, including two nuclear power facilities in Pakistan, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.

Despite concerns over the proliferation of nuclear material, the foreign minister said his country was moving ahead with its nuclear activity in line with international expectations

“We have no objections on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency because we are proceeding ahead in a transparent manner,” he said. Pakistan is facing a looming energy crisis that is creating rolling blackouts in parts of the country.

The energy deal comes as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari accepted the credentials of Liu Jian, the new Chinese envoy to Islamabad. Zardari said trade relations with China fell well short of their potential.

“Strengthening and enhancing cooperation with China in all sectors is one of the key principles guiding Pakistan’s foreign policy,” said the Pakistani president.

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