WASHINGTON // The UAE and the United States were scheduled to make their nuclear co-operation agreement official today in a ceremony seen as an important step in the nation's bid to become the first Arab country to harness atomic energy. Yousef al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, and Ellen Tauscher, the under secretary of state for arms control and international security, were set to formally exchange diplomatic notes, according to the US State Department.
The agreement provides for the peaceful exchange of nuclear know-how, materials and equipment. UAE leaders have said they need nuclear power to meet rising energy demand and have agreed to strict non-proliferation provisions designed to ensure the programme remains exclusively for peaceful purposes. Today's expected ceremony will clear the final procedural hurdle for the agreement to enter into force. It comes after a 90-day congressional review period expired in October.