Thursday, September 02, 2010 -
Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Tuesday their cooperation on using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the Gulf News agency reported on Thursday.
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to UAE Askar Mussinov also told the news conference in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi that the Emirates fully backed his country’s international efforts to create a world free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
"The discussions on cooperation in nuclear energy are in initial stage and we expect more progress in future," the Gulf News cited the Ambassador as telling the press.
Mussinov outlined the steps Kazakhstan has taken to usher in a nuclear weapons free region in Central Asia, as well as its expanding campaign to ensure a world free from nuclear arms.
After shutting down a nuclear testing site in Kazakhstan in 1991, President Nursultan Nazarbayev renounced nuclear weapons in 1994. Since then the former Soviet republic has removed all nuclear weapons, which numbered around 1400, from its territory.
In 2009, the five Central Asian nations established a ‘nuclear weapons free zone’ in their region. Since then, Kazakhstan has worked with international bodies to continue its anti-nuclear weapon campaign. This year, the UN General Assembly agreed to Kazakhstan’s request to designate August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
Kazakhstan sits on 16 percent of the world’s uranium reserves and is rapidly increasing its uranium output. The Central Asian giant is already the world’s leading uranium producer, accounting for almost 28 percent of world production.
For its part, the UAE has consulted with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to embark on a civilian nuclear power program.
The UAE accepted a $20 billion offer from South Korea to build four nuclear reactors in the country by 2020. The UAE signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1996.