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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 15:53 GMT
Nigeria's nuclear power 'mix-up'
This is Nigeria's second nuclear mix-up this year
Nigeria has pulled back from an earlier press statement that it had discussed acquiring nuclear power from Pakistan.

The reference to nuclear weapons was a "typographical error," said a defence ministry spokesman.

The statement was released after talks between Pakistan's chief of staff and Nigeria's defence minister in Abuja.

Pakistan has been at the centre of a storm since its top nuclear scientist AQ Khan last month admitted to passing secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

"There were no discussions at all on nuclear power, development and acquisition," said defence ministry spokesman Nwachukwu Bellu.

Pakistan has also denied offering nuclear technology to Nigeria.

'Military co-operation'

The original defence ministry statement, issued late on Wednesday night, quoted chairman of Pakistan's joint chiefs of staff General Muhammad Aziz Khan as saying that Pakistan "is working out the dynamics of how they can assist Nigeria's armed forces to strengthen its military capability and to acquire nuclear power."

Nigeria now insists that General Khan was only discussing "military co-operation" with Defence Minister Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri told journalists in Islamabad that the reports were "unadulterated rubbish".

In January, there was similar confusion in Nigeria after a spokesman for Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said he had discussed acquiring missile technology with his North Korean counterpart, Yang Hyong-sop.

A government spokesman later said that Nigeria had no plans to acquire such technology.

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03 Mar 04  |  South Asia

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