The United Arab Republic is mounting heavy defences round the newly completed Aswan High Dam.?
GV Ministry building
SV INTERIOR..Ministers prepare for press conference
SV Minister Helmy El-Said speaking
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SV El-Said speaking
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Initials AH/AE/ES.1641 AH/AE/ES/1700
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Background: The United Arab Republic is mounting heavy defences round the newly completed Aswan High Dam. Electricity Minister Helmy Mohammed El-Said told a Cairo news conference yesterday (Thursday) that the country will fight off any possible Israeli air attacks against the new dam.
The Minister was asked if the government envisaged the dam ever becoming the target for Israeli air raids when the present Middle East ceasefire ends on February 5. He replied: "Great defensive measures have been taken against deep air raids."
The news conference had been called to outline celebrations marking the completion of the Soviet-backed dam. The celebrations will be held on January 15, the 53rd anniversary of the birth of the late President Nasser. president Nikolai Podgorny of the Supreme Soviet will lead a high-level Russian delegation to the celebrations.
During the news conference, Mr El-Said announced that the Soviet Union had made two loans for the dam totalling 113 million Egyptian pounds (sterling). He also revealed the alarming statistic that 450 workers died through accidents during the 10 years of the dam's construction.