Office of the Spokesman
January 15, 2009
U.S.-UAE Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation (123 Agreement)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed today signed an Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Arab Emirates Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Once it enters into force, the Agreement (also called a 123 Agreement after the relevant section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act) will establish the legal framework for the United States to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with the UAE under agreed nonproliferation conditions and controls. Released on January 15, 2009
The Agreement will not only establish a firm foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation in civil nuclear energy, but also has the potential to usher in an era of responsible nuclear energy development throughout the Middle East. The UAE’s approach to development of civil nuclear energy stands in direct contrast to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities incompatible with IAEA and UN Security Council resolutions. The United States is pleased that this Agreement reflects the UAE’s renunciation of any intention to develop domestic enrichment and reprocessing capabilities in favor of long-term commitments to obtain supply of nuclear fuel from reliable and responsible international suppliers. In light of the importance to the United States of the UAE’s commitment not to engage in enrichment or reprocessing within its borders, activities contrary to that commitment will be grounds for the United States to terminate the Agreement. This Agreement can serve as a model for other countries in the region in pursuing responsible civil nuclear energy development undertaken in full conformity with nonproliferation commitments and obligations.
The UAE is an active partner in a range of nonproliferation initiatives, including the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and DOE’s Megaports Initiative. The United States also welcomes the support the UAE has provided to establishing an International Atomic Energy Agency international fuel bank through its contribution of $10 million and urges other States to make similar commitments. By signing this Agreement today, the United States and the UAE have taken an important step in building a long and fruitful partnership to enhance nonproliferation and energy security in the region. For more information on the U.S.-UAE 123 Agreement, please visit the State Department’s website: http://www.state.gov/t/isn/