The Presidents of the Soviet Union and the United Arab Republic officially inaugurated the Aswan High dam on Friday (15 January) -- the 53rd birthday of the late President Nasser, who forced the project through with massive Russian help.
SV Sadat and Podgorny on dais
SV Sadat presents medals to Soviet workers
SV Russian workers examine medals
SV Engineer presented with trophy & plaque
SV Crowd applaud
SV Podgorny & Sadat embrace.
SV Podgorny & Sadat arrive for signing ceremony
SV Guests seated.
SV Podgorny & Sadat sign
SV People watch
SV Podgorny & Sadat embrace
Initials CM/AS/BB/2219 CM/AS/BB/2301
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Background: The Presidents of the Soviet Union and the United Arab Republic officially inaugurated the Aswan High dam on Friday (15 January) -- the 53rd birthday of the late President Nasser, who forced the project through with massive Russian help.
President Nasser died of a heart attack in September shortly after the last of 12 giant turbines were installed in the dam, which is revolutionising Egypt's agriculture. He had struggled to get the dam built after the Americans and the World Bank backed out of the scheme.
So there was sadness behind the ceremony as President Anwar Sadat, President Nasser's old friend and army colleague, joined with President Nikolai Podgorny of the Soviet Union in the inauguration.
Both Presidents congratulated a number of Russian and Egyptian technicians on the completion of the 300 million sterling dam, and presented medals and trophies to individuals.
President Sadat beamed as he embraced his Soviet guest. President Podgorny also seemed in high good humour, joking with Russian photographers.
The two Presidents have signed an agreement which officially hands over the High dam to the united Arab Republic.
It took a force of 37,000 Egyptians and Russians ten years to build, and its power and irrigation potential have already given Egypt a glut of electricity, and two or three crops a year.
The authoritative Cairo newspaper Al Ahram reported on Saturday (16 January) that the dam's Soviet designer Nikolai Malichev has also offered to Egyptian Deputy Premier for Production Aziz Sidky Soviet aid in the form of nuclear reactors to produce electricity.