The UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal alongside the reaffirmation of a friendship treaty between the two states.
|The UK royal party and hosts during their UAE visit (Image: WAM)
The documents were signed at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi by the UK's foreign secretary William Hague and UAE minister of foreign affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Statements released through UAE state news agency WAM and the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) did not give further details on the nuclear cooperation agreement, although a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear cooperation was signed by the two countries in May 2008.
The main focus of the signing ceremony was a formal declaration reaffirming a 1971 Friendship Treaty which confirmed that the states would consult together on matters of mutual concern in time of need and encouraged educational, scientific and cultural cooperation. The new declaration, according to the FCO, "celebrates strong cooperation between the UK and the UAE in areas such as defence and security, energy, trade, education and culture, and records a determination to build ever closer relations to the mutual benefit of the two nations." The nuclear agreement is seen as exemplifying this.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the British royal party including Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edninburgh and the Duke of York, who acts as a special representative for UK trade interests.
The UAE is working towards starting a nuclear power program, and in December 2009 accepted a bid from a South Korean consortium to construct four APR1400 reactors by 2020. A site at Braka has been selected and site preparation and limited construction licences have been granted, with a full construction licence application expected to be lodged before the end of 2010.
The UAE already has nuclear cooperation agreements in place with the USA, South Korea and France, plus a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News