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Rediff.com  » News » UAE, US sign N-cooperation accord

UAE, US sign N-cooperation accord

January 17, 2009 15:20 IST

The UAE and United States have signed a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation that would enhance international standards of atomic non-proliferation, safety and security.

Foreign Minister of UAE Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday signed the "123 agreement", which established a required legal framework for commerce in civilian nuclear energy between the two countries.

"The agreement, named after Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act, will benefit both the countries and is another example of the strong relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates," Shaikh Abdullah said.

"Under the terms of this agreement, the UAE will gain access to significant capabilities and experience in the peaceful use of nuclear energy," he said.

He added that this would also "allow the UAE to develop its civilian nuclear programme to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation".

The agreement will also open opportunities for US firms to be active participants in UAE's nuclear energy programme, the minister said.

The agreement followed the April 2008 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy between the two countries.

Earlier, the UAE had released a detailed policy document on the evaluation and potential development of peaceful atomic energy last year after a study projected a massive increase in demand for electricity in the coming decades.  

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