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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 21, 2008


U.S.-United Arab Emirates Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Energy Cooperation

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al-Nahyan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy on April 21, 2008 in Bahrain. The UAE's recently-announced policy on domestic nuclear energy, which notes that the UAE chose to forgo a costly domestic reprocessing and enrichment capability in favor of long-term arrangements for the assured supply of foreign-manufactured nuclear fuel, serves as a model for the economical and responsible pursuit of nuclear power.

The approach of the United Arab Emirates is consistent with the principles emphasized in the Joint Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation, issued by Presidents Bush and Putin on July 3, 2007. The U.S.-UAE Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a tangible expression of the United States’ desire to cooperate with states in the Middle East, and elsewhere, that want to develop peaceful nuclear power in a manner consistent with the highest standards of safety, security and nonproliferation. As President Bush and Secretary Rice have stated on several occasions, nuclear power will be an increasingly important clean energy source throughout the world as states strive to meet growing energy needs while at the same time controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Secretary Rice also received from Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah a diplomatic note endorsing the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. The United Arab Emirates is the 68th nation to join the Initiative, which is an action-oriented, flexible network of partner nations working to address all aspects of the nuclear terrorism threat, including deterrence, denial, detection, material confiscation, and response.

In addition to signing these two documents, the two parties affirmed their interest in negotiating a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation (sometimes referred to as a “Section 123 Agreement” after the relevant section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act) to establish the necessary legal framework for trade in significant nuclear commodities between the two countries.

More information about the Joint Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070703.html.

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

2008/305


Released on April 21, 2008

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