Australia, UAE sign nuclear cooperation pact
Melbourne: Australia and the UAE have signed a pact to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, paving the way for sales of uranium to the Gulf nation.
Australian foreign minister Bob Carr announced that a framework agreement has been signed with the UAE which would lay grounds for the uranium sale.
The pact is the latest of 22 nuclear safeguard agreements covering 39 countries, including the US, Russia, Korea, UK, Canada, Argentina and China.
"We are very, very happy that the UAE has fulfilled all the conditions and requirements that we would seek of a partner," Carr was quoted by the report.
Carr said the agreement allowed a comprehensive range of safeguards to ensure Australian nuclear material was not used for anything but peaceful purposes.
"There is a very strong guarantee and that is that it`s in the interest of the UAE to stick to what they have committed themselves to do," he said.
Carr said Australia, as a uranium supplier, had an obligation to sell to countries that adhered to all the rules, delivered on all the safeguards and were committed to non-proliferation.
"If we don`t provide uranium to such countries, then we are not providing an incentive to play by the rules," he said.