[WAM, 21 April] The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the USA have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The MoU was signed by UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in Bahrain today. Sheikh Abdullah said "the UAE-US MoU represents an excellent example of cooperation the UAE hopes to forge with responsible nuclear supplier states in the area of peaceful nuclear energy. There are potential mutual benefits to both parties from deepening cooperation in the development of the UAE's domestic nuclear energy sector." He further welcomed the prospect of negotiating a more extensive bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation which would establish the necessary legal basis for trade in significant nuclear commodities between the two countries. The signing of the MoU follows the publication of a detailed policy document by the UAE on the evaluation and potential development of nuclear energy within the UAE. The document includes a pledge to forego any domestic uranium enrichment or reprocessing capability in favour of long-term external fuel supply arrangements. The UAE considers nuclear energy a cheaper alternative to oil in generating electricity and expects demand for power to triple to 41,000 MWe by 2020.