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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 16, 2008


U.S.-Saudi Arabia Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Energy Cooperation

Today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation. The Government of the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will establish a comprehensive framework for cooperation in the development of environmentally sustainable, safe, and secure civilian nuclear energy through a series of complementary agreements. Both of our countries face growing energy needs and we seek to address them in a responsible manner that contributes to reducing the effects of greenhouse gases on the global climate.

The United States will assist the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to develop civilian nuclear energy for use in medicine, industry, and power generation and will help in development of both the human and infrastructure resources in accordance with evolving International Atomic Energy Agency guidance and standards. Saudi Arabia has stated its intent to rely on international markets for nuclear fuel and to not pursue sensitive nuclear technologies, which stands in direct contrast to the actions of Iran.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia became the 71st nation to join the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. As a partner in this multilateral initiative, Saudi Arabia will work with partner nations to address all aspects of the nuclear terrorism threat, including deterrence, denial of safe havens, detection, material confiscation, and response.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also presented the United States with a diplomatic note endorsing the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Saudi Arabia joins more than 85 states participating in the Initiative, which responds to the growing challenge posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery vehicles, and related materials worldwide. PSI participants commit to undertake measures to interdict transfers of WMD related items, exchange relevant information, and strengthen national legal authorities.

More information about the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism is available at http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c18406.htm.

More information about the Proliferation Security Initiative is available at http://www.state.gov/t/isn/c10390.htm.

2008/395


Released on May 16, 2008

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