United Arab Emirates signs nuclear power deal with Japan

Other News Materials 20 January 2009 15:17 (UTC +04:00)

The United Arab Emirates and Japan have signed a memorandum of cooperation that will pave the way toward developing nuclear power plants in the oil-rich Persian Gulf nation, local media reported Tuesday, dpa reported.

"As we evaluate a peaceful civil nuclear power program in the United Arab Emirates, one of our fundamental principles is that we will work with responsible nations that are experts in the field," UAE Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Saif Sultan al-Aryani said

after signing the agreement on Monday.

Takamori Yoshikawa, Japanese deputy minister of economy, trade, and industry, said Japan had been "promoting nuclear energy" for 40 years and noted that it operates 55 commercial nuclear reactors.

UAE and Japanese officials stressed the agreement, which follows similar agreements with Britain, France, and the United States, was for peaceful purposes within the parameters of international agreements on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The United Arab Emirates, which, according to government figures, has 9.5 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, has recently also begun a push to develop renewable sources of energy.

On Sunday the Emirate of Abu Dhabi hosted a summit on renewable energy and signed a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland to cooperate on the development of new energy technologies.

The summit allowed the emirate to showcase its Masdar project, which is being touted as the world's first zero-carbon-emission city.